The Direct Marketing Association board of directors today accepted the resignation of President and CEO Linda Woolley. The former director of public affairs at ITT had served in those roles since December 2012. Reasons for her resignation were not disclosed.
Thomas Benton will assume Woolley’s CEO duties in an interim capacity and continue to carry out his present duties as COO of the association. Current SVP of Programs, Marketing, and Events Jane Berzan will take over as interim president. DMA officials said no active search for permanent replacements was currently underway.
“The board split the role because it recognizes the different skill sets that Tom and Jane bring to the party,” said Stephanie Miller, SVP of member communications and engagement at DMA. “Tom comes from a background of digital marketing analysis and finance, and Jane comes from an association programs and events background.”
Before joining DMA in 2012, Benton ran his own consulting firm. Earlier, he spent seven years with AOL, leaving as SVP of Marketing Analysis. During 12 years as SVP of the National Association of Convenience Stores, Berzan directed one of North America’s top 50 trade shows. She sits on the board of conventionplanit.com.
As leader of the DMA, Woolley proved a stalwart defender of the rights of direct marketers to pursue a new digital agenda. Last year she led an effort to commission professors from Harvard and Columbia to define and quantify the data-driven economy’s contribution to the American economy, which was calculated at $156 billion.