Christopher J Fraleigh (41), the high profile former executive director of advertising and corporate marketing at General Motors, has quit the company to join consumer products manufacturer Sara Lee.

Known in marketing circles simply as 'CJ', Fraleigh will join the company in January as chief customer and marketing officer, reporting directly to Brenda C Barnes, president and chief operating officer.

Says she: "I have had the privilege of working with CJ when we were both at PepsiCo, and I am confident that he is the right person to take our marketing and customer programs to the next level and to collaborate with our marketing and customer teams throughout the corporation to achieve their best-in-class objectives."

Many in the auto industry believe Fraleigh may have been planning such a move since February when he was switched from his corporate marketing role to brand duties as general manager of GM's Buick and Pontiac-GMC divisions [WAMN 06-Feb-04].

He was marked by GM as a rising star as a result of his Break Through campaign for Cadillac. At Sara Lee he will be responsible for a host of brands, ranging from Playtex brassieres to Jimmy Dean, Douwe Egberts, Chock full o' Nuts, Hanes, Bali, DIM, Kiwi, Ambi Pur and Sanex.

Meantime, the dreaded 'new marketing broom' syndrome is causing an outbreak of sweaty palms at TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, California, and BBDO and Element79, both in Chicago.

Data sourced from AdWeek (USA); additional content by WARC staff