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Compact case
Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
Institute for Management Development (IMD) (2015)
2 pages
Data source:
Field research


This three-part case series examines the change management challenge of putting corporate marketing at the top of the corporate executive suite (C-suite) agenda in a business-to-business (B2B) multinational. It follows the four-year journey, from 2010 to 2014, of Mauricio Adade, the newly appointed chief marketing officer (CMO) of Royal DSM - a global leader in life sciences and material sciences headquartered in the Netherlands. The case series, together with the video supplement, delves into the issues faced by the company’s top leadership, including Adade, in its effort to transform a diversified industrial company into an organization with best-in-class marketing and sales capabilities. Case A begins by highlighting the culture and organizational structure of Royal DSM and the decision to raise the profile of headquarters-based corporate marketing, with the appointment of Adade in 2010. It discusses the marketing and sales excellence project launched by the new CMO during his first year at the helm and concludes by putting the spotlight on the resistance posed by the company’s most powerful stakeholders: the business group leaders. Case B focuses on the implementation journey during the period 2011-2014. Adade and his team adopted a new plan of action and positioned the corporate marketing department as a partner that worked with the business groups to deliver projects with quantifiable results. Did the new strategy work? Case C provides an update on the replacement of Adade (announced in December 2014) and allows for a discussion on the challenges that lie ahead for the new CMO and the organization as a whole.


Chief Marketing Officer; Corporate marketing; Business-to-business (B2B); Marketing; Capability; Change management; Materials science; Life science; Engineered material
2014 sales USD9.2 billion, 24,500 employees worldwide
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