WFA names Mastercard's Raja Rajamannar president

Rajamannar succeeds RBS's David Wheldon, who has held post since 2015.

WFA: (clockwise from left) Rajamannar, Pang and Bell
WFA: (clockwise from left) Rajamannar, Pang and Bell

The World Federation of Advertisers has elected Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s chief marketing and communications officer, as president.

Rajamannar, who will serve a two-year term with the option to extend for a further two years, replaces David Wheldon, chief marketing officer at RBS, who has been president since 2015 and will continue to serve on WFA’s executive committee as regional vice-president for western Europe.

In addition, Philip Myers, senior vice-president of global policy and government affairs at PepsiCo, takes over from Matthias Berninger, former vice-president of public affairs at Mars, as deputy president.

WFA also appointed 10 new executive committee members:

  • Jean-Luc Chétrit, chief executive, French Advertisers Association and WFA treasurer
  • Edward Bell, general manager, brand, insight and marketing communications, Cathay Pacific 
  • Adam Mohamed Wee Abdullah, group chief marketing officer, CIMB
  • Valérie Hernando-Presse, chief marketing officer, Danone
  • Gerhard Louw, head of international media management, Deutsche Telekom
  • Allyson Park, global vice-president, corporate affairs, Mars
  • Francesco Tramontin, director, global public affairs, Mondelez International
  • Lynette Pang, assistant chief executive, marketing group, Singapore Tourism Board
  • Atul Agrawal, senior vice-president, corporate brand and marketing, Tata
  • Jan Morten Drange, chief executive, Association of Norwegian Advertisers

Rajamannar, who started his career with Asian Paints in India, has worked at Mastercard since 2013, spearheading efforts such as an integration of the marketing and communication functions, evolution of the "Priceless" platform and the company's recent move to become a "symbol brand" and the launch of a sonic brand platform.

He previously served in leadership roles at WellPoint (now Anthem), Humana, Citigroup and Diners Club North America. He was also recently named the 2018 WFA Global Marketer of the Year

"The opportunity in front of marketers today to make a difference for their brand, their business and even the world is tremendous," Rajamannar said in a release. "I am honoured to pick up and carry the torch as president of WFA, an organisation committed to elevating and advancing the activities of our profession, and a role I am convinced will become even more important in the years to come."

Stephan Loerke, chief executive of WFA, said: "It’s always gratifying that so many senior marketers are willing to serve on WFA’s committees and forums. We couldn’t do half the work we do without these vital contributions, and the wisdom of so many senior marketers and policy professionals is critical in identifying upcoming issues and potential solutions to the many challenges faced by brands today." 

A version of this story first appeared on Campaign Asia-Pacific

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