Hy-Vee Hires CMO From Saatchi & Saatchi X

Hy-Vee is expanding RedMedia, its retail ad network

Hy-Vee has turned to the agency world for its next chief marketing officer, hiring Jessica Hendrix, president and chief executive officer of Saatchi & Saatchi X.

Hendrix will also be an executive vice president and president of RedMedia, Hy-Vee’s retail media network.

Hendrix has been at Saatchi & Saatchi X, a full-service and shopper marketing agency owned by Publicis Groupe, for 17 years. She held the top job at Saatchi & Saatchi X for nine years, working with companies like Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s, Kraft and Samsung.

She replaces Anna Stoermer, who moves to chief merchandising officer.

Hendrix will report to Donna Tweeten, president of Hy-Vee, which is based in West Des Moines, Iowa.



Hy-Vee’s hire of Hendrix shows how retailers of all sizes are rewriting their marketing playbook in an era when skills in fast-growing retail media sales are harder to find than brand-building credentials.

Retail media is the fastest-growing ad channel, and that explosive growth has sparked a hiring frenzy among retailers. The channel continues to increase by some 20% per year, and by 2027, eMarketer expects marketers to spend $109.4 billion on networks managed by retail execs. That will make it second only to social media, and means retail media will be larger than connected TV, digital audio, and traditional television advertising combined, eMarketer predicts.

Hundreds of retailers have charged into the space, promising marketers that they can deliver a different and better set of eyeballs than their competitors. Amid furious investments in ad tech and staff, they struggle to carve out branded differences.

Amazon continues to be the king of the emerging media, with an estimated 75% share, with Walmart+, Target, Home Depot, Lowe’s and Kroger in hot pursuit. However, regional players believe that due to their closer bonds with customers, they can offer marketers something different.

“I truly believe bringing a leader of Jessica’s caliber on board at Hy-Vee is going to take our integrated marketing strategies to the next level,” says Jeremy Gosch, Hy-Vee’s CEO, in the release. “The talent and experience we have in this area is second to none, and with Jessica at the helm, I’m confident this team will bring even more value to our brand marketing efforts, the positioning of our image, and the advanced development of our retail media network.”

Hy-Vee is the 36th largest grocery chain in the U.S., ranked by Progressive Grocer, with annual sales of more than $13 billion in eight Midwestern states. And while the landscape is dominated by global corporate giants like Walmart, Costco and Kroger, the Iowa-based Hy-Vee is employee-owned.

Hendrix is an Iowa native who graduated from the University of Iowa.

That connection likely feels extra delicious this week as the Hawkeyes’ women’s basketball team cruises into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA playoffs, led by West Des Moines native Caitlin Clark. She continues to break records in her final year of collegiate play. Hy-Vee was Clark’s first major brand partnership in an NIL agreement made in 2021.

In January, Hy-Vee and Clark launched Caitlin's Crunch Time, a limited-edition breakfast cereal, with proceeds benefiting Iowa youth.

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