NEW YORK: Bark, parent of pet subscription service BarkBox, has hired 20-year Bank of America veteran Jay Livingston as CMO.
Livingston started on July 20, replacing Pat Shores in the role. Shores left the company in July. Livingston reports to Bark’s founders Carly Strife, Matt Meeker, and Henrik Werdelin, and is overseeing 26 people.
"I am helping to scale our growth across the three product lines we have here: BarkBox, BarkShop, and retail, and helping grow and scale our brand and social and digital media presence," he said.
Livingston joins Bark just ahead of its partnership with Target, starting on Sunday, which sees the company expand beyond its subscription roots to have a brick-and-mortar presence. This marks the first time Bark’s products will be sold at retail stores.
"I am focused on bringing some structure to the growth of the company, especially as we are expanding into these different business lines into retail and with BarkShop, helping the company think of how to structure that, organize that, and grow those businesses under the Bark brand going forward," said Livingston.
In an effort to get the word out about the launch of Bark’s original toys and treats at Target on August 13, Bark seeded products from its Destroyers Club, Best Toys Ever, and Best Treats Ever collections with more than 50 celebridogs in its network. The collective reach of Bark’s dog influencers is 2.6 million followers.
Bark is also working with The Bachelorette star Rachel Lindsay, who has a dog named Copper.
Previously, Livingston worked at Bank of America from 1994 to 2014. Most recently, he was the bank’s SVP of global marketing. In his 20 years there, he held senior roles in every functional area of marketing including leadership of enterprise marketing, small business marketing, online banking marketing, and retail marketing.
Livingston also oversaw the introduction of the Bank of America brand in many markets across the country after large acquisitions. He also led Bank of America's efforts to localize many of its enterprise marketing and philanthropic activities.
"I never had my leg peed on by a dog at Bank of America in the office," he said of the industry change.