Pizza Hut Announces Key Marketing Leadership Changes
Pizza Hut Announces Key Marketing Leadership Changes

Pizza Hut has announced two significant marketing appointments. Kalen Thornton will assume the role of Global Chief Brand Officer starting June 10, reporting to Pizza Hut Division CEO Aaron Powell. In his new role, Thornton will lead Pizza Hut's global brand strategy, overseeing marketing efforts across 110 markets and territories. He will focus on enhancing the brand's relevance through strategic customer connections across both physical and digital platforms.

Thornton previously served as Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Marketing for PepsiCo North America, where he developed brand partnerships and drove growth through media and content initiatives. He also held the position of Chief Marketing Officer at Gatorade and had various marketing leadership roles at Nike and Jordan, where he spearheaded significant brand initiatives.

Powell said, "Kalen is a visionary leader with a proven track record in building global brands. He understands how to create memorable moments for consumers, and I'm excited for him to help us connect with a new generation through the joy of pizza."

Thornton expressed, "I believe creativity, community, and culture bring people together. I'm honored to contribute to Pizza Hut's long legacy and eager to help shape the future growth of this iconic brand."

In addition to Thornton's appointment, Melissa Friebe will become the Chief Marketing Officer for the U.S. market, reporting to incoming Pizza Hut U.S. President Carl Loredo. Friebe joins Pizza Hut from Taco Bell, where she held various positions over nearly three decades, most recently serving as Chief Brand Strategy Officer. She will succeed Lindsay Morgan, who is leaving after more than eight years in various marketing leadership roles.

Powell said, "I am proud that Pizza Hut is attracting top talent in the industry. Kalen and Melissa bring a wealth of experience and I'm confident they will achieve great things in their new roles. I'm also grateful for Lindsay Morgan's contributions, including our record-breaking World's Largest Pizza activation and the successful launch of Melts."

These leadership changes at Pizza Hut underscore the brand's commitment to innovation and growth in the competitive global and U.S. markets.

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