When SAS co-founder and CEO Jim Goodnight disclosed the departure of executive vice president and chief marketing officer Jim Davis to Informatica, a rival big data firm, he said SAS had a “deep bench” of executive talent and would soon name a replacement.
On Wednesday afternoon, he promoted two SAS veterans to new jobs.
Randy Guard takes over as CMO, replacing Davis who left on Dec. 6.
Promoted to the position as the first chief customer officer is Fritz Lehman.
“Randy and Fritz have been influential in SAS product direction and customer engagement for many years,” Goodnight said in a statement. “Their leadership and experience are valuable assets to my executive team, and will be integral in helping me lead the company and serve our customers.”
Guard had previously served as vice president of products, marketing and enablement. Earlier in his career he was a consultant at Andersen Consulting, which is now Accenture.
“As CMO, he is now responsible for the SAS brand, as well as the strategic vision and direction for SAS software and services,” SAS said. “Guard will oversee operational business units including product management, global marketing, communications and creative services.”
“I have been with SAS for more than 15 years and have enjoyed the ongoing opportunities to help our customers adapt to their changing markets.
“I look forward to driving the marketing and sales enablement efforts that build on the innovation that has always been at the heart of what we do, so that SAS – and our customers – are able to take advantage of the evolving analytics landscape.”
Promoting Fritz Lehman
Lehman brings 31 years of SAS experience to the new position. He had earlier served as Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement and Support. Lehman also will continue to be responsible for SAS global professional services, technical support, education and documentation divisions, as well as the U.S. customer loyalty team, SAS said.
“Our customers expect the best from us and our goal is to never stop delivering on that expectation. It’s one reason why our satisfaction rates are so high,” said Lehman in the announcement.
“This new role was created with the purpose of ensuring the SAS customer experience continues to be top-notch. Our ‘customer-first’ strategy unites various departments that are focused on streamlining and optimizing how a customer works with SAS across all our channels. This unification will help our customers succeed with SAS.” Lehman will continue leading SAS global professional services, technical support, education and documentation divisions, as well as the U.S. customer loyalty team.