Philips CMO Damien Cummings set for move to Standard Chartered Bank

Damien Cummings at the launch of the Conversation Engine

Damien Cummings at the launch of Philips’ Conversation Engine

Damien Cummings, the regional CMO of Philips, is moving on after just over a year with the company, Mumbrella can reveal.

The Australian is set to move to a senior digital marketing role at Standard Chartered Bank based in Singapore, Mumbrella understands.

Cummings did not confirm or deny the news.

The shift marks a return to client-side financial services marketing for Cummings, who has previously worked for Citibank in Australia, as well as brands such as insurer NRMA and Coca-Cola.

Cummings joined the Dutch electronics giant as vice president and chief marketing officer, ASEAN and Pacific, replacing Arent Jan Hesselink, in February 2014. His appointment came a short while after leaving Samsung following a shake-up of its marketing department in late 2013.

One of Cummings’ first moves was to review Philips’ agency relationships, which include Carat for media, Ogilvy for creative and Fleishman Hillard for PR.

He later set up a digital command centre. Called the Conversation Engine, the unit was set up in September last year as a 40-person in-house team made of staff from Philips’ roster agencies.

At the time of launch, Cummings said he would be taking lessons learned from in-house marketing models that have not worked, such as WPP and Dell, where he was online director for Asia Pacific and Japan in 2010.

In response to Mumbrella’s questions about the future of the Conversation Engine, Cummings confirmed that the centre is operating as normal and was part of the company’s plans for this year and 2016.

As the company moves from its current office to newly built regional headquarters in Singapore, at the same site at Tao Payoh, a larger Conversation Engine is to built, he said.

Eight month ago, Cummings said of the centre: “This is the way marketing will be done in the future, and the way agencies will be set up in the future,”

A video to explain the thinking behind the Conversation Engine featured Cummings and Philips CEO Frans van Houten, who said: “Technology is only useful when it meeds the unmet needs of people. So we try to discover the unmet needs by understanding what really want and what they’re really after.”


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