Sector News

Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio is stepping down to help companies accelerate diversity efforts

August 27, 2020
Diversity & Inclusion

Facebook’s chief marketing officer is stepping down next month after two years in the role. Antonio Lucio—who joined the social network in 2018 after spending several years as CMO at HP— announced today that he plans to spend his “next next, and probably final, chapter” of his professional career helping advertising and marketing companies with change related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Lucio’s last day at Facebook will be Sept. 18, but he said he’ll work through the end of 2020 to help the company find a successor.

In a Facebook post today announcing his departure, Lucio said it is “a time for reckoning for the nation and my industry” when it comes to diversity and inclusion, adding that he plans to help marketing and advertising companies focus on accelerating their change.

“This has been a very challenging year for all and an especially reflective year for me, following the passing of my mother before the lockdown,” he wrote. “Given the historical inflection point we are in as a country regarding racial justice, I have decided to dedicate 100% of my time to diversity, inclusion and equity. Although these issues have been core to my personal purpose for many years and they were an important element of my work, I want to make them my sole focus.”

Lucio has held a number of high-profile marketing roles over the course of his career. Prior to joining HP in 2015, he spent several years at Visa as Global Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. Before that, he was chief innovation and health and wellness officer at PepsiCo, where he spent nearly a decade. During a discussion on stage last fall at the Forbes CMO Summit, Lucio hinted at his future plans when he said being Facebook’s CMO would likely be his last corporate position so he could focus on advisory and educational roles.

Over the last two years, Lucio has worked on a number of major marketing initiatives aimed at growing the business while also regaining trust after several years of scrutiny over issues related to data privacy and content policies. Along with campaigns related to Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, Lucio oversaw a corporate rebrand that sought to distinguish Facebook the parent company from its various subsidiary platforms. In March, Facebook released “Never Lost,” that featured empty streets from around the world while people used Facebook to connect with friends and family, and in May, it debuted “Born In Quarantine,” a pandemic-era Mother’s Day campaign that both helped to debut a new parenting hub. And in February, Facebook ran its first Super Bowl ad starring Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone, which promoted the platform’s much-marketed Groups feature.

“Grateful to Mark for his curiosity, support and commitment, and for always listening attentively even when we disagreed,” Lucio wrote. “I believe in Facebook’s mission, and COVID demonstrated the platforms at their best. As the company evolves, striking the right balance between preserving freedom of speech and eliminating hateful speech on the platforms is a generation-defining question that must continue to be addressed. I know the company and its leadership agree on the centrality of this important task.”

By: Marty Swant

Source: Forbes

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