Erin Nelson

Chief Marketing Officer, Bazaarvoice; Former SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Dell Inc.

Throughout her 20 years in marketing, Erin Mulligan Nelson remains true to the one principle that got her into the business—let the hearts and minds of your customers guide all that you do.

Erin has always been fascinated by human behavior—how do people make choices, what motivates them to act, how do they decide what they love or what they don’t? Marketing as a discipline intrigues her because of the balance of sociology, psychology, metrics and analytics—this combination has the power to provide insights that can affect change within organizations. She also recognizes that effective marketing is a critical enabler to growth and profitability, which can only come from a deep understanding of customer needs.

As senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Dell, Nelson is responsible for bringing the company’s brand to life for Dell customers, employees and stakeholders around the world. She leads brand strategy, global communications, social media, corporate responsibility, global research, marketing talent development and agency management. Nelson is also the executive sponsor of the largest employee resource group at Dell, Women in Search of Excellence (WISE), and serves on executive committees for corporate philanthropy, diversity and sustainability.

Before becoming CMO for Dell in January 2009, Nelson spent three years in Europe as the vice president of marketing for Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Dell. Since joining Dell in 1999, she has held leadership positions across marketing and sales in the Consumer, Small and Medium Business, Public and Large Enterprise business units.

Prior to joining Dell, Nelson worked in brand management at Procter & Gamble, corporate strategy at PepsiCo and management consulting with A.T. Kearney. 

A mother of two, Nelson is passionate about ensuring that children grow up in a safe and healthy environment. As a board member for the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children in Travis County, Texas, she volunteers her time to advocate for neglected and abused children in many forums, including the court system, schools and the community.

Nelson also dedicates time helping develop the next-generation of marketing professionals through her work with her alma mater, The University of Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in international business and marketing. As a board member on the UT McCombs Business School Advisory Council, she helps ensure that the curriculum and experience that students receive prepares them for the opportunities they’ll encounter in the workforce. 

In addition, Erin also serves on the board of directors of the Ad Council and Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

Last Updated: 2010