Verizon names Leslie Berland as CMO

The search is over. Verizon announced the appointment of Leslie Berland as EVP and chief marketing officer (CMO), effective January 9, 2024.

Berland previously was at Peloton, Twitter and American Express. She will report directly to Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg and replaces Diego Scotti, who left Verizon earlier this year and is now an EVP at PayPal.

“Leslie has spent her career at the helm of some of the most iconic brands, transforming their marketing efforts to connect more meaningfully with customers and drive impact across channels,” Vestberg said in a statement. “She brings a combination of creativity and business acumen that will help steer and scale our marketing strategy while capitalizing on our next phase of growth."

According to a press release, Berland will lead all aspects of Verizon's global brand and marketing strategy, including marketing activation and creative, marketing effectiveness, consumer insights, media and strategic partnerships.

Most recently, Berland served as CMO at Peloton, where she launched a new brand identity initiative. She joined Peloton in January after about six years at Twitter, which she left shortly after Elon Musk bought the company. (To be clear, she was not at Peloton when it ran that infamous ad in 2019.)

"Verizon's brand is at an exciting inflection point as the fundamental need for human connection has never been more critical,” Berland said in a statement. "What we offer today and what we’re building for the future is rooted in Verizon’s commitment to bring people closer together and enable them to thrive. I can think of no better story to tell, and I’m thrilled to join a world-class team driving growth for the business, reinvigorating the customer experience and lifting up the communities in which we serve."

Vestberg commented during the UBS investor conference at the beginning of this week that the CMO position was still open and hinted about getting a “great” CMO very soon. Who knew it was going to be a few days later?