Just two weeks post-Centex merger, Pulte Homes has taken a first step toward its formidable post-merger goal to build strong brand names across the new company's product lines.

The Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based builder has hired auto industry marketing guru Deborah Meyer as its first chief marketing officer (CMO).

Meyer, who will report directly to CEO Richard J. Dugas and carry a vice president title as well, is charged with developing and implementing a comprehensive brand strategy for the company, which became the largest home builder in the country Aug. 18.

"Ms. Meyer will work to align the distinct sales, marketing, and home buying experiences that exist within the Pulte Homes, Centex, and Del Webb brands," today's announcement said.

Meyer won't have to relocate for her new job. Her last job was in the Motor City. Last December, she left Chrysler, where she was CMO for 18 months, according to Adweek. The short-lived chief marketing position was eliminated after she left, the trade publication reported.

Before joining Chrysler, Meyer was Toyota Motor Sales USA's first CMO, working as vice president of marketing for the company's Lexus division. She also worked to market Ford's Lincoln brand and Mazda.

"Deborah is a recognized and respected global marketing executive, and we are thrilled for her to join our team at this exciting and important time," said Dugas in the announcement. "Following our merger, we are in a great position to initiate an innovative branding strategy enabling us to more effectively reach customers within the first-time, move-up, and active adult buyer segments."

A Detroit native, Meyer left her hometown for an education and to establish her career. She holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Wellesley College and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. She began her career at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York. In 2005, Meyer was named one of the "100 Leading Women in the North American Automotive Industry" by Automotive News.

"I am very excited about joining Pulte, as the company is truly in position to change the competitive dynamic within the home building industry," said Meyer in the announcement. "By clearly defining our brands with potential customers and developing innovative solutions for their needs, we can more effectively and efficiently bring home buyers into our communities, while working to exceed their expectations throughout the home buying and homeownership experience."