Sales and marketing changes at Aviva

Article date: 11 September 2009

Aviva has today announced that John Kitson, sales & marketing director for their UK general insurance business, is to leave his post in March 2010.

John joined the then Norwich Union 14 years ago as head of brand and marketing, focused primarily on intermediary business. His current role on the UKGI board covers sales and marketing for both the direct and broker businesses, as well as RAC and partnerships.

Of his move, John said: “Usually when someone moves out of a role like mine and has no plans to go into another one there’s speculation about the reasons. But there’s no need to speculate because I won’t be popping up in a competitors’ office – ever!

“This is a personal choice to have a rest, go fishing, write a book, go to Norwich City FC away games, and take stock.

“I have enjoyed my time at Aviva but life moves on.”

Igal Mayer, chief executive of Aviva’s UK general insurance business has extended his warm thanks to John as well as looking to the future.

“I thank John for bringing so much to Aviva over the last 14 years, from driving the early growth of Norwich Union Direct to his recent prominent role in our rebrand to Aviva. We will miss him. On behalf of the entire Aviva team, as well as our brokers and partners, I wish him all the best in whatever his future holds,” he said.

Igal went on to say: “Alongside the news about John, we’ve been planning changes to our future Sales & Marketing team to take us forward, not just for the next six months whilst John very much remains our sales & marketing director, but for the long term future."  

After a period of transformation during which Aviva’s UK general insurance business has focused on reshaping the book, building core insurance capability and delivering the promise of scale, Sales & Marketing within Aviva UKGI is entering the next phase of its evolution, focused externally on our customers, brokers and partners to build on the platform for growth we have put in place. This will mean that the Sales & Marketing senior management structure will change over the next month.

John’s successor will be announced in due course to ensure an orderly transition. Janice Deakin will continue as corporate sales director until March 2010 when her current role will cease and she will take on a new role.


For further information, please contact Aviva’s press office:

Erik Nelson
Telephone: 01603 682264

Adrian Tink
Telephone: 01603 681922

Notes to editors:

John Kitson’s career at Aviva

  • 1995 – joined NU from Lloyds TSB where he was head of life marketing
  • 2000 – director of product development and e-trading following NU’s  merger with CGU
  • 2003 – retail director, covering NU Direct/brand & advertising strategy/new product development
  • 2005 – consumer director, running marketing, personal lines sales and servicing, NU Direct,  and building the RAC Direct Insurance business
  • 2006 – intermediary director
  • 2007 – sales and marketing director with responsibility for RAC, Direct, partnerships, marketing, intermediary business

Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. Aviva also provides roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet.

Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.

Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at


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