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Julie Roehm — the former Walmart advertising chief who was fired in 2006 after she was seen sitting in the lap of an exec at ad agency DraftFCB, which had paid for a $2,000 dinner at New York’s trendy Nobu restaurant — is back. She has a new job as vp/marketing at business software infrastructure company SAP.Roehm, one presumes, is now a more cautious personality intent on opening a new chapter of her life that doesn’t involve receiving sexy emails and cases of Effen vodka from her ad agency staff.
The rest of the advertising world, frankly, will be overjoyed that Roehm — a bottle-blonde not afraid to wear leather pants while pregnant — has returned to Dodge City. What will she do? SAP is a traditionally conservative marketer but we can only hope she will light some fireworks under its brand.
SAP, one presumes, knows her history. Her Linkedin page shows she has put as much mileage as possible between herself and Walmart with serious, non-glamorous consulting gigs. But she still describes herself on her personal web site as a “regal” “warrior” “guru.” And she still compares herself to Tolstoy, James Joyce, Walt Whitman, Bobbie Fischer, Edith Sitwell, and the racehorses Secretariat and Man O’ War.
The common sense advice would be for Roehm to keep her head down and do a large amount of good work. Nothing quells the critics like success. Whether Roehm is able to ditch her penchant for appearing in the media and work quietly, however, is another matter.