Press release: BARK, Inc.
BARK, Inc., a leading global omnichannel brand for dogs and their people with a mission to make all dogs happy, recently announced the appointment of Cindy Gustafson as chief marketing officer. Gustafson is a proven marketing leader with deep expertise in e-commerce, subscription-based and consumer packaged goods businesses. In this role, Gustafson will spearhead BARK’s marketing organization and is responsible for developing and executing strategies that enhance the BARK brand and drive growth across the Company’s key initiatives. She is based in New York and reports to Matt Meeker, BARK’s co-founder, executive chairman and chief executive officer.
“We are thrilled to welcome Cindy to BARK and excited for her to help lead two of our strategic priorities and growth drivers: Be BARK and Food,” said Meeker. “She will be involved in unifying the BARK brand and customer experience across our product categories, with a focus on growing our presence in food. Cindy is a recognized thought leader and accomplished practitioner in marketing, advertising, and media, with significant experience growing subscription-based businesses and building lasting connections with consumers. Her love for dogs will help continue to advance our mission to make dogs as happy as they make us.”
Most recently, Gustafson served as the global chief marketing officer at WW International, Inc. (WW), formerly Weight Watchers, where she successfully led the company’s efforts to build a global marketing practice, modernize the brand, diversify the consumer base, and accelerate performance-marketing efforts. In her four years at WW, Gustafson oversaw all dimensions of brand strategy and activation, insights, full-funnel media planning, investment and advertising, and ambassador efforts to drive recruitment and retention, as well as built a multi-tiered influencer marketing practice in-house.
“As a career-long brand builder, I have profound admiration for the unique and impactful voice BARK has honed over time, as well as the deep relationships the Company possesses with its millions of passionate customers,” said Gustafson. “BARK’s digitally native, data-driven, and dog-obsessed culture positions the Company to thrive in today’s consumer era. The purity, focus, and commitment the team has to its mission – and how it drives everything BARK does – is what makes this opportunity so remarkable for me. I look forward to continuing to enhance the lives of dogs and their parents.”
Gustafson has more than 20 years of experience working for some of the world’s most recognizable brands across a diverse group of industries, including Nike, American Express, Jaguar/Land Rover, Unilever, Booking.com, Volvo and Royal Caribbean International. Prior to joining WW in 2018, she worked at global media agency Mindshare for more than a decade, holding several roles, including founder of Invention Studio and Chief Strategy Officer. Throughout her tenure, she was responsible for leading the various brands’ strategic roadmap and reinventing what media can do for brands in an age of digital disruption. Gustafson has received recognition for several professional accomplishments, including an induction into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Achievement, inclusion in Ad Age’s “40 under 40,” Adweek Media All Star and Cynopsis Media’s Top Women in Digital. She holds a bachelor of science in communication and media studies from Ithaca College. She lives in Larchmont, New York, with her husband and two children, and will be welcoming a pup to the family this summer.