GM Set to Appoint PepsiCo’s Rising Star as Top Marketer

05 January 2001

Christopher "CJ" Fraleigh (36), the current vice president of marketing for cola brands at Pepsi-Cola North America is set to take one of the most powerful jobs in global advertising – executive director of corporate advertising and marketing at General Motors.

Neither Fraleigh, PepsiCo nor GM were willing to comment on the reported appointment, which is said to embrace all GM brands, including Buick, Chevrolet, Cadillac and Saab, plus the GM credit card. Headhunters Russell Reynolds Associates, who conducted the search, were equally zip-lipped.

Fraleigh will report to GM’s vice president of advertising and vehicle brand marketing John Middlebrook (59), but insiders predict that Fraleigh’s strategic marketing skills will jet-propel him up the corporate ladder. “They have bigger plans for him down the road,” said one person close to the situation.

Ex-Pepsi marketing colleague Brian Swette, now chief operating officer at eBay, agrees with the GM pundits: "[Fraleigh] will find that unique touchpoint with the consumer that's been lacking. It's there to be mined. He doesn't have to invent it. He'll discover and dramatize it."

News source: Wall Street Journal