Just under a year after Esther Lee left AT&T to become MetLife's new CMO, the telecom giant has named Fiona Carter to succeed Lee as its svp/head of brand marketing, advertising and sponsorships.
Like Lee, Carter brings an extensive history in the agency world to the role. Prior to joining Dallas-based AT&T, she spent more than a dozen years with holding company Omnicom, serving as managing director of BBDO's New York office from 2003 to 2014 before accepting the role of chief operating officer at the holding company's diversified agency services group. While there, she oversaw a portfolio of 14 related advertising, branding and research companies. During her time at Omnicom, she worked with some of the world's largest brands, including Procter & Gamble, GE and Bank of America.
Beginning Oct. 26, Carter will oversee all of the company's brand marketing, advertising creative and sponsorship projects as well as its basic media strategy and placements.
AT&T senior evp and global marketing officer Lori Lee told Adweek, "Fiona is an innovative leader with an excellent track record in helping companies build significant brand preference." The hire follows AT&T's acquisition of DirecTV, and Lee positioned it as part of a strategic shift as the company—armed with 26 million new TV customers—moves away from simply providing connections to offering a full suite of content-focused products and services. Lee said, "We're transforming AT&T into an entertainment and technology business, changing the way people communicate and watch video. Fiona's expertise, strategic insight and creativity will be invaluable in our mission to help customers know and comprehend what our brand delivers."
Carter said she's "thrilled to take on this role leading AT&T's brand marketing and advertising initiatives. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help evolve one of the world's most recognized brands."
She called her new employer "a global company that's taking the lead in changing the entire entertainment and communications experience for consumers."
"I look forward to helping AT&T continue to build its brand and tell its story to consumers around the world," she added.
Carter's former employer, BBDO, is AT&T's longtime creative agency. Despite cutting its overall ad spend in 2014, the telecom remains one of the five largest single advertisers in the U.S.