Kmart Corporation (NYSE: KM) today announced that Brent Willis, 40, will join the company as Chief Marketing Officer, effective today. Reporting directly to Kmart President and COO Andy Giancamilli, Willis will be responsible for managing all aspects of marketing, communications, advertising and brand development for Kmart.
"As Chief Marketing Officer, Brent Willis will be instrumental in integrating our marketing resources to both build and fully leverage Kmart's brand equity among consumers," said Giancamilli. "Brent's extensive experience in brand development and marketing leadership will sharpen our consumer insight and galvanize a new emotional bond with shoppers. His proven success in marketing and leading companies in various contexts, in differing cultures, and with complex business dynamics, make him extraordinarily well- suited for the challenges we face at Kmart today."
A veteran of the consumer goods industry both in the United States and internationally, Willis comes to Kmart from The Coca-Cola Company, where he was President of one of their major divisions based in Latin America. In that senior-level position, Willis was the architect of Coca-Cola's turnaround in Venezuela, during which 50 years of competitive brand dominance was reversed. Coca-Cola now leads in Venezuela with near 70 percent market share versus only 10 percent in 1996.
Willis also has held key marketing positions with Nabisco and Kraft General Foods. He was responsible for turnarounds in Latin America with Nabisco, expansion of Kraft across Asia, and is credited with the launch of the Kraft brand in China. Willis is well known in international circles, was rated as one of the top 40 CEOs in Latin America, and has garnered international advertising awards from London to Buenos Aires to Caracas.
A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Willis served five years in the US Army as a Captain, and holds a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Chicago. He serves on a number of non-profit boards and was the Chairman of the Social Alliance for Venezuela, a multi-disciplinary group integrating the efforts of business, government and social organizations to combat poverty and improve education in Venezuela.
"With the addition of Brent Willis as Chief Marketing Officer, we are taking another major stride forward in creating our new leadership team at Kmart," said Kmart Chairman and CEO Chuck Conaway. "During the past six months, we have recruited a highly energetic, aggressive, and world-class team of professionals, all leaders in their respective disciplines, to complement the retail expertise and commitment of our Kmart team. Together, we are driving forward with great intensity and determination to transform Kmart into a world-class retail company."
Kmart Corporation serves America with 2,106 Kmart, Big Kmart and Super Kmart retail outlets. In addition to serving all 50 states, Kmart operations extend to Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. More information about Kmart is available on the World Wide Web http://www.bluelight.com/ under the "About Kmart" section.
SOURCE: Kmart Corporation
Contact: Mary Lorencz, Director, Corporate Media Relations of Kmart