The Planet Names VP of Marketing

(Ping! Zine) – The Planet, the global leader in IT hosting, today announced the appointment of Matthew R. Benner as vice president of Marketing and Product Management.   Benner reports to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Douglas J. Erwin. He holds responsibilities for the company’s entire span of marketing and product management functions, including advertising, the company’s web presence and development, product management, public relations, social media and corporate communications.

“Matthew Benner’s background and management experience in online marketing, new product development and business strategy is a trifecta for The Planet,” said Erwin. “His track record with four of the worldwide leaders in marketing, and driving growth with small and mid-sized businesses, provides our company with a skill set unique to the hosting industry. Matthew also brings a reputation for creating a strong strategic vision, and building and motivating great teams, which is important to our corporate culture. In addition, his understanding of international business provides The Planet with the expertise we sought as we continue to expand our business beyond North America.”

Benner was most recently the senior vice president for Reliant Energy’s retail marketing and operations, where he directed the business strategy and customer-facing functions for its retail electric business. In this role, he managed key functions spanning marketing, sales, operations, customer care, new product development, and the company’s community affairs and public relations departments.

Immediately preceding his work with Reliant, Benner lived in London for two years where he was the Barclays Bank director of marketing for its international retail and commercial banking sector, and wealth management businesses. 
Prior to moving abroad, Benner served in a number of increasingly responsible marketing and general management roles for Fidelity. Among these were senior vice president for the company’s online and indirect/reseller businesses; and senior vice president of marketing for the emerging corporate and middle markets. While at Fidelity, he launched the industry’s first fully automated online; and bundled multi-practice offerings to the small and mid-sized business segments.   

He has been classically trained in marketing, strategy and sales. Benner was in the telecom industry with AT&T for five years as a marketing vice president for the company’s consumer and small business division. He also spent seven years with Kraft in both brand management and corporate strategy, and was a category manager in the company’s core cheese business. Benner initially started his career in brand management and sales roles with Procter & Gamble’s packaged soap and detergent division.

He earned a B.S.E. in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering from Princeton University.

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