LA Inc. gets new CMO and an extra $10 million for marketing

Steve’s breakdown: The new guy has experience in retail, beverages and destination marketing and seems to be a great fit for LA. Look for him to up the ante on all marketing initiatives which could require hiring an ad agency.

LOS ANGELES, CA: Mark Liberman, President and CEO of LA INC., (The Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau) has announced that Don Skeoch, recognized both nationally and internationally as a renowned brand marketer, has been named Chief Marketing Officer for LA INC.  Skeoch comes to LA INC. from the California Academy of Sciences, where he currently serves as Chief Marketing & Exhibit Development Officer.  While at the Academy, he established a long-term strategic planning process for the organization and restructured the marketing and exhibits functions to refocus the organization’s efforts.

“Don is a proven leader, whose work with widely recognized brands including San Francisco’s largest cultural attraction as well as Pepsi-Cola, Teleflora, Baskin-Robbins and Universal Studios Hollywood gives him the depth of experience to implement a new branding strategy for destination Los Angeles,” said Liberman.  “He has led, motivated and developed strong marketing and sales organizations and will help us continue to cultivate positive connections with our target customers.”

This new position is part of LA INC.’s reorganization as the result of the implementation of the Tourism Marketing District (TMD), a new funding source that will provide approximately an additional $10 million to sell and market Los Angeles as a compelling destination for meetings, citywide conventions and leisure travel.  The Los Angeles hotel industry implemented the TMD to create a sustainable revenue source for marketing Los Angeles to visitors.

“The organization embarked on a nationwide search to identify a visionary person to execute the Bureau’s three-year strategic plan,’’ said Board Chairman Tom Mullen, who is Vice President of Marketing & Client Development at American Express.  “Don’s unique background with brands, theme parks and cultural attractions will take the organization to the next level.”

Skeoch led all aspects of brand marketing and retail concept development for more than 3,000 Baskin-Robbins, Dunkin Donuts and Togos outlets in more than 60 countries.  He was Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Universal Studios Hollywood and at Pepsi-Cola he directed all Western Region advertising and marketing plans in Pepsi’s largest U.S. division.

“Los Angeles is a top tourist destination and it’s an exciting time to return to Los Angeles where I have spent so much of my life and career,” said Skeoch.  “Tourism is the No. 1 industry in LA and I am looking forward to working with the Marketing team at LA INC. to help grow our domestic and international audiences.”

He holds an MBA from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and is a graduate of Brown University with a degree in economics, organizational behavior and management.

Skeoch serves as chairman of the Advertising Council for the California Travel & Tourism Commission and is an Executive Committee and Board Member of the San Francisco Travel Association.

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