Fernando Wey stepped into the role of CMO at AI-specialist Birdie about seven months ago, working with companies such as Samsung, Procter & Gamble, and Whirlpool, but didn’t announce it until this week.
“We were focusing on clients all through the pandemic to deliver results, and didn’t really think to make the announcement,” Wey said. “We were all hands on deck making sure they were successful in 2020.”
Wey, an award-winning marketer, brings with him more than 20 years of experience in marketing and business management in consumer goods, telecom, technology and services, working for multinational companies like SharkNinja, Whirlpool, Telefonica/Vivo, and Citigroup.
Throughout his career, Wey has won a number of awards including the Top of Marketing Award from the Association of Marketing and Sales Directors of Brazil. Based in Chicago, Wey has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
He also founded two companies: Chef’s Collection, and Chicago International. Chef’s Collection remains, but Wey and co-owner sold Chicago International -- which helps start-ups enter the market -- to a Brazilian company in 2018.
After starting two successful companies and selling one, one goal he has is for investors to label Birdie as the next unicorn.
Growing up in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he wanted to become an airplane pilot and travel the world. “I love traveling the world and exploring different cultures,” he said. “That’s what I love about marketing. It gives me an opportunity to be close to people.”
Wey was part of the team that created the Maytag repairman campaign, which he said created an emotional connection with consumers.
“At that time the majority of the campaigns were very feature- and product-driven,” he said, adding that they didn’t typically connect with the problems consumers struggled with day in and day out.
When asked how he will take that emotional connection and apply it to Birdie, he said corporations are made up of people. For example, a home appliance company has people working in marketing, product development, and customer service. They are all working for the same goal, but have different struggles. This is where he can help, Wey said.
Birdie’s AI-based platform helps CPG brands extract actionable consumer insights from unstructured data to predict category trends, anticipate product crises, and discover promotional opportunities in key retail channels in real-time.