Northeastern University has appointed Brian Sullivan vice president and chief marketing officer, effective Dec. 18. Sullivan has held senior marketing positions at world-class brands throughout his career and is known as a results-oriented brand leader who has created successful marketing organizations featuring strong multifaceted teams, insight-driven decision-making, and effective communication.
In this newly created position Sullivan will work closely with the president and senior leadership team to develop and implement multi-year marketing and branding strategies that elevate Northeastern’s global visibility. This work will build on the university’s existing successes in marketing and communications.
“I am thrilled to be joining such an amazing university under the innovative direction of President Aoun and his senior leadership team,” Sullivan said. “Northeastern has a truly compelling story to tell. I am excited to help advance our message across the global community and further strengthen Northeastern’s rightful place among the world’s best institutions of higher learning.”
Over the past decade, Northeastern has experienced unprecedented success across a range of critical dimensions, including student selectivity, research support, and fundraising. Today, Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 131 countries. Northeastern has also launched an innovative network of regional campuses across North America. The university’s marketing and branding strategy will ensure that these successes are well known to Northeastern’s key constituencies.
“By recruiting Brian Sullivan, we have added a first-rate professional to lead the university’s future marketing and branding efforts,” said Michael Armini, senior vice president for external affairs. “In recent years we have elevated Northeastern’s reputation dramatically—and given how rapidly the university has been transformed there is still much left to do. I’m thrilled to welcome Brian to Northeastern, where he will lead us in both writing and telling the Northeastern story.”
Prior to Northeastern Sullivan was the director of marketing for the Boston Red Sox, a role in which he led the team’s brand marketing efforts and spearheaded its marquee Calling All Kids youth initiative. He also supervised the expansion of the Red Sox social media presence to improve fan engagement, reorganized the team’s advertising strategy, and launched the franchise’s first-ever comprehensive promotional marketing strategy.
Sullivan has also managed creative direction, online and mobile strategy, and business development around key brands at both H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Inc. Those globally recognized brands include Oreo, Bagel Bites, Planters, and Balance Bar.
At Kraft Foods, Sullivan led a 20-member cross-functional team in launching breakthrough “Snack ’n Seal” packaging. Earlier in his career, he served as a project manager in communications and high technology at Accenture LTD, where he managed end-to-end project duties for a 12-person team that successfully implemented new consumer invoicing and bill processing efforts.
Sullivan holds a master’s degree in business administration from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Villanova University.