CMO Andy Lark to exit CommBank

17 May 2013

Commonwealth Bank chief marketing and online officer Andy Lark will leave the bank to pursue entrepreneurial interests. It is understood Vittoria Shortt will step in as interim CMO until a replacement is found.

Lark joined CBA from Dell almost two years ago, coming in after Mark Buckman departed for Telstra. Prior to 14 years with the computer technology firm, Lark had worked for tech start-ups and enjoyed a stint with Sun Microsystems, now part of Oracle.

New Zealand born Lark is also a founding director of New Zealand venture capital firm No 8 Ventures. Operating since 1998, the firm invests in ICT, cleantech, biotech, and other specialised technologies.

On his blog, Lark wrote:

“The time is right for me to leave CommBank and say "can" to new opportunities”, in brand building and consumer engagement through technology. “I will be doing both with a focus on mobile and social - and their collective impact on marketing and CMOs both in Australia and abroad.”

Congratulating staff for their achievements in condensing "four years work into two", Lark signed off by thanking his team for their efforts in trying to make customer's lives easier.

See the note sent to staff below:

Hi team,

In 2011 I joined CommBank with the specific aims of working with you to relaunch our Brand, enhance our marketing effectiveness and accelerate our momentum in digital, mobile and social.

We have made incredible progress on all fronts but more importantly have made it simpler and easier for our customers to engage and bank with us. Today they enjoy doing business with us more than any other Bank. Our brand and marketing resonates more than ever. And we are engaging our customers through industry leading applications and social platforms. You should all be enormously proud that our work together has had such a positive impact.

After a great deal of reflection I have decided that the time is right for me to leave CommBank and say "can" to new opportunities. This is in part due to the tremendous progress we have made together - and, in part, the passion I have for building great brands as an entrepreneur.

Those of you who have had career conversations with me know my passion for authoring your own future and being clear about the experiences you want to have. My passion is in creating great brands and engaging customers through technology. I will be doing both with a focus on mobile and social - and their collective impact on marketing and CMOs both in Australia and abroad.

It is has been a privilege to lead such an exceptional team and be part of such a remarkable story. It feels like we have compressed four years of work into two, and I appreciate the energy you have all brought to our work together. We can be very proud of what we have done for one of Australia’s most important brands and the positive impact you have all had on our customers.

More than anything though I feel very privileged to have got to know so many of you personally and shared in your lives.  In particular, a special thanks to my leadership team and Miche - who made my family feel so welcome a long way from home.

Thank you all!
Cheers, Andy

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