Bayer taps new North America marketing chief for consumer health division

In yet another C-suite shift for Bayer’s consumer health business, the division’s North America segment has appointed a new chief marketing officer.

Samantha Avivi is slated to take over the role from Jeff Jarrett, Bayer announced Tuesday. Jarrett had served as marketing chief for Bayer Consumer Health’s North America region since mid-2020—a year after he joined the pharma—and is planning to retire from the company at the end of May.

In a LinkedIn post Tuesday, Jarrett called his departure “truly bittersweet,” as he cited the “incredible journey” of working at Bayer while noting that “after five years at Bayer, and nearly 55 years of life, I’m ready for the next chapter… whatever it may hold!” Jarrett also congratulated Avivi on taking the reins, writing, “I’m confident her breadth of experience across so many world-class agencies and companies will bring tremendous value to our brand-building strategy and capabilities moving forward.”

Avivi joins Bayer fresh off a yearlong stint as chief marketing officer of Advance Auto Parts, which followed about three years spent as marketing chief of another auto parts company, Tenneco. Rounding out her nearly 30-year career in marketing are leadership roles at consumer goods giants Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, and at agencies including BBDO, Young & Rubicam (now part of VMLY&R) and DMB&B, prior to its acquisition by Publicis.

Samantha Avivi Bayer
Samantha Avivi (Bayer)

In her new position, Avivi will spearhead North American marketing efforts for Bayer’s range of consumer brands. She’ll report to Dave Tomasi, president of Consumer Health, North America for Bayer.

“I’m excited to leverage my passion for building consumer-led, purpose-driven brands across the Consumer Health portfolio, which includes many brands that I know and love, like Claritin, Aspirin, and Midol,” she said in the announcement.

Avivi’s appointment is the latest in a spate of recent executive moves for Bayer’s consumer health department. Her new boss, Tomasi—also a Procter & Gamble alum—took on the president role just last summer, following three years as chief commercial officer for the North American consumer health segment.

And earlier this year, Bayer announced a new head of the global consumer health business: Julio Triana, currently head of international commercial operations in Bayer’s pharma division, who’s set to take over the president title from Heiko Schipper on May 1.

Those high-level switch-ups have taken place as Bayer continues to stave off calls for a separation of the consumer health business. During an investor day last month, CEO Bill Anderson said the company had considered selling off the division but has so far decided against it because of the sizable tax losses such a separation would bring and because the consumer health brands are still generating sold cash flow, among other reasons.

This year, Bayer is expecting consumer health sales to grow between 3% and 6% while forecasting that pharma will stay flat or drop up to 4%.