Global hires Virgin Media’s Cilesta Van Doorn as chief marketing officer

Global has appointed Cilesta Van Doorn, executive director, brand and marketing at Virgin Media, as its next chief marketing officer. 

Van Doorn will join in October and replaces Adam Johnson, who is stepping down to return to Australia with his family. Johnson joined Global in 2015 from Microsoft and became CMO in 2019.

Van Doorn’s departure from Virgin Media follows the completion of its merger with O2 in June, and comes after O2 CMO Nina Bibby also left the business.

Van Doorn joined Virgin Media in 2018 as marketing director after 12 years at Dutch telecoms company Tele2 Netherlands. She became executive director last May after Sharon Hegarty left to join Samsung, leading a team of 70, across brand advertisement, media, digital, social, customer marketing, insight and marketing effectiveness, plus overseeing Virgin Media’s in-house creative agency.

At Global, she will report to group chief executive Stephen Miron and oversee a team of 80, covering brand and commercial marketing, enterprise, customer support, events and communications.

“We couldn’t have found anyone stronger than Cilesta to help Global take its next huge step in the marketing of our brands, including Global Player, and her leadership across the other areas she will oversee,” Miron said. “She is an incredibly creative, commercial and passionate leader with broad experience acquired over many years and she will make a great addition to Global’s senior leadership team.”

Miron added that he was “extraordinarily grateful to Adam Johnson for all the incredible work he has done for Global over the last six years and wish him well with his move to Australia”.

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Van Doorn said: “It’s not often that an opportunity comes by that makes your heart skip a beat, and it became clear that Global has everything I could ever wish for, and more. I have loved working for Virgin Media and will miss my team dearly, but I feel incredibly grateful to be joining such a special company. 

“I’m at my best being part of truly dynamic, innovative and transformational companies, and you can’t fail to be impressed by Global’s performance as a media and entertainment company over the years.”

Global owns many of the UK’s top radio brands, including Capital, Heart, Smooth, LBC and Classic FM, along with on-demand service Global Player. Since 2018, it has also become a giant in out-of-home advertising after acquiring Primesight, Outdoor Plus and Exterion. Global’s digital ad exchange DAX operates across both audio and outdoor.

In March, Campaign reported that Global was seeking to buy up to 49.99% of US radio giant iHeartMedia, after it bought 8.7% of iHeart in January.



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