NFL hires former PepsiCo chief exec Hudson as CMO

The National Football League has appointed Dawn Hudson, former president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America, to serve as CMO, effective next month.

NEW YORK: The National Football League has appointed Dawn Hudson, former president and CEO of Pepsi-Cola North America, to serve as CMO, effective next month.

Hudson will oversee the development, direction, and implementation of all marketing activities for the league, according to a statement released by the NFL on Monday. She will report to Commissioner Roger Goodell, and work out of the New York office.

Prior to Hudson, marketing was led by Mark Waller, who is now focusing "exclusively on the growth of the NFL's international business," following organizational changes in August, the statement adds.

Most recently, Hudson spent five years as vice chairman of The Parthenon Group, a Boston-based strategic consulting firm.

Before that, she worked at PepsiCo for 11 years, where she held the role of president and CEO for Pepsi-Cola North America, along with several other senior-level positions. She also previously worked at DMB&B and Omnicom.

Paul Hicks is the NFL’s EVP of communications and public affairs. He spoke with PRWeek in 2012 about Goodell and the league’s approach to communications.

The league has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after TMZ released surveillance footage of former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancé Janay Palmer – now his wife – in an elevator. Goodell is being criticized for the way he handled the situation, in which he previously suspended Rice for only two games. Rice was later cut by the Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the NFL.

Last week, Goodell said at a press conference he has not considered stepping down from his leadership position. Two days before the conference, Indra Nooyi, the CEO of longtime NFL sponsor PepsiCo, issued a statement in support of Goodell, but chastised the league for "repugnant" player behavior.

In addition to hiring Hudson, the NFL recently appointed Anna Isaacson to take on a new role as VP of social responsibility. Isaacson, who has been with the league since 2006, is tasked with overseeing the development of the NFL’s education, training, and support programs related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and matters of respect at the organization.

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