Jacqueline Parkes, the chief marketing officer of ViacomCBS’ Entertainment and Youth Group and executive vice president of the company’s digital studios, is leaving at the end of the year.
Parkes has been leading marketing for networks like CMT, MTV and VH1 since 2016, and was upped to oversee marketing for additional cable properties like Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land following the 2019 ViacomCBS merger.
In a note to staff today, Parkes said the decision was a personal one, driven in part by life changes borne out of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Over the last few months, I’ve been speaking to Chris about finding the right time to transition out of my role for two reasons: the first being the transformational work we have done together over the last five years is near complete,” Parkes wrote.
“The second is that we are all living through a unique moment in time—and for me, that means my whole family is living under one roof again,” she continued. “It’s because of these two reasons that I want to take this time to spend with my family and to assess what the next challenge is for me to take on.”
She will remain at the company through the end of the year as ViacomCBS Entertainment and Youth Brands president Chris McCarthy looks for her successor. According to company sources, McCarthy is close to finding her replacement but has not yet made an announcement; an interim reporting structure is set to be rolled out in the coming weeks before a new CMO joins the team.
Parkes’ five-year tenure was marked by a number of marketing wins, including #AloneTogether, a PSA campaign encouraging social distancing and remaining safe during the early days of Covid-19. An overarching campaign for Comedy Central’s Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens won Adweek’s 2020 Media Plan of the Year. This fall, the company rolled out a mass voter registration PSA campaign, “Vote for Your Life,” across the entertainment and youth brands. As part of the initiative, MTV paid for printing and mailing ballot initiatives.
Before joining the company, Parkes spent two decades as the chief marketing officer of Major League Baseball.
The departure comes as ViacomCBS continues to settle into organizational changes that better center its streaming ambitions. An October restructure on the streaming side, though, did not affect cable networks.