Key shifts and moves in advertising, media, and marketing in 2023

From industry titans reshuffling roles to brand overhauls, we list impactful shifts that made the news in 2023.

People made the news for their planned, sometimes sudden, and in other cases unexpected job changes in 2023. From marketers and agency folk to media executives we saw some notable power players navigating transitions across sectors.

This year Rohit Jawa replaced HUL MD and CEO Sanjiv Mehta, Amul’s RS Sodhi left the milk cooperative and moved to Reliance Retail, Bobby Pawar left advertising, and Mona Jain joined Zee Media as its Chief Revenue Officer.

Here are the movers and shakers of the world of advertising, media and marketing in 2023:

Bobby Pawar stepped down as chairman, CCO of Havas India

Advertising veteran and legend, Bobby Pawar as the chairman and CCO of Havas India. As of now, he has not taken up any role and has supposedly moved away from advertising.

Pawar now calls himself ‘self-employed’. 

“It is hard to walk away from what I have loved for thirty-one years. But I have always chosen to do the hard thing. Like taking on the challenges of changing the course of the agencies I have helmed. Now it’s time to do that with my own life. What is certain though, is that writing will be a huge part of whatever I dive into next. I am nothing if not a storyteller, a craftsman who chisels prose with a pen,” were Pawar’s words on his exit from the industry.

Deepa Krishnan, Hyatt Hotels Corporations

In November, Deepa Krishnan the role of marketing head at Hyatt Hotels Corporations, after her four-year tenure at Starbucks. 

Previously, she served as the executive director of strategy at Kantar and held the position of head of branding and marketing communication at Idea Cellular for a three-year period.

Deepika Warrier, Bajaj Auto Limited

Diageo India’s CMO Deepika Warrier from the company in June, after spending 3 years with the spirits major. Warrier later Bajaj Auto Limited as its head of marketing in July.

Dhruv Dhawan, Disney + Hotstar

HDFC elevates Ravi Santhanam 

In August, Ravi Santhanam was elevated at HDFC as . Before this, he was CMO and head of corporate communications. 

In June, Hindustan Unilever announced the of two of its board members – CEO & MD Sanjiv Mehta and independent director of the company, Dr Ashish Gupta. 

The company had already announced the successor to Sanjiv Mehta in Rohit Jawa, who the role of MD & CEO after Mehta’s retirement. 

Sonam Pradhan, Kellogg’s India

From Mahindra Group, Sonam Pradhan joined in September as head of media and digital marketing. During her tenure with Mahindra, she was integrated media and advertising head (Automotive Division.) 

Viacom18 roped in as the CEO of the digital business. His previous stint was with Google as general manager and MD for Android and Google Play for Asia Pacific.

Mayur Hola, Culinary Brands

Mayur Hola Culinary Brands as the chief marketing officer in January. He had previously worked with OYO as its SVP of Global Brand for nearly 4 years. 

McCann India announced restructuring

MWG India announced a significant at McCann India. Amitesh Rao, who was previously executive vice president and head of McCann Delhi was elevated to the role of executive director of McCann Advertising for North and West.

Abhinav Tripathi, who used to head creative at McCann Mumbai, has also taken up the mantle of creative head of digital, nationally at the agency. Sambit Mohanty and Souvik Dutta now lead the creative forces in McCann Delhi. Mohanty however continues to oversee McCann Bangalore Creative.

Zomato Nothing’s Megha Vishwanath as vice president of operations in November. She worked as global product marketing manager at Nothing, where she was responsible for crafting and executing product marketing strategies, messaging and positioning of the product range. 

joined Arise IIP as its executive director. He took to LinkedIn to announce the same. Before this role, Gandhi was with as COO for over a year.

PepsiCo elevates Tarun Bhagat

In May, PepsiCo elevated Tarun Bhagat to promoting him from his previous role as senior director of marketing for Mountain Dew, 7UP, and Mirinda- International beverages. 

Rahul Shivshankar, Network18 Group

Ramsai Panchapakesan, Havas India

Ramsai Panchapakesan Zenith as the Sr. vice president & national head – integrated media buying. Panchapakesan Havas Media Network India as managing partner- investments for Havas Media India. He oversees integrated buying in the North and East markets, along with assuming additional responsibilities for Trading.

Rebranding of Landor & Fitch to Landor; Lulu Raghavan promoted to VP, APAC 

In June, Landor & Fitch promoted Lulu Raghavan as . Previously, she was the India managing director.

In November, Landor & Fitch also to Landor, accompanied by a refreshed brand expression and a new ultramarine blue identity. 

This colour choice symbolises the transformative power of water, paying homage to the company’s origins when Walter Landor founded it on a ferry boat in San Francisco harbor.

Sagar Kapoor left Lowe Lintas after 20 years

Sagar Kapoor Lowe Lintas in 2023 after two decades in the agency. Prior to his exit, he was the chief creative officer of Global Brands. Kapoor is behind some memorable campaigns like Lifebuoy’s #HelpAChildReach5.

He was the global creative lead for the brand, Lifebuoy and has also worked for brands like Axe, Pepsodent, Zee, Astral Pipes, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Godrej HIT.

This year, Shemaroo Entertainment announced key appointments and exits.

was named the chief operating officer – digital business. His previous stint was at Disney Star India as the head of product and revenue strategy for the Hindi entertainment network.

, who was associated with Shemaroo Entertainment as its president – new business opportunities, stepped down from her role to launch her venture ‘neOwn’.

Shirish Agarwal, Samsung India

September marked Shirish Agarwal’s entry into Samsung India as . Formerly he was the head of brand and marketing communications at Panasonic India.

Smita Murarka Deloitte as director in September. Previously, she was working as chief marketing officer at Duroflex. 

Pulkit Trivedi, Snap Inc.

was appointed the chief marketing manager of ABP Group in September 2023. His previous stint was as a senior manager of brand and digital at Nuvoco Vistas.

RS Sodhi as Amul MD in January, After serving as the managing director of the Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF) for a decade. The dairy sector cooperative giant, which owns the Amul brand, then appointed Jayen Mehta as the MD. 

In April, RS Sodhi Reliance Retail to head its Grocery Business. 

Debosmita Majumder, WeWork

The workspace provider company WeWork in September announced . Her mandates include enhancing the marketing infrastructure of the company. 

Zee Media Corporation onboarded as its chief revenue officer. She worked as the CRO for for three years before joining Zee.

As Jain moved in, the company’s former CBO decided to move out. Reports say that he “decided to leave the organisation to pursue his personal endeavours.”