Quick-Service Restaurants’ Most Influential Marketing Leaders

In an extremely saturated industry, quick-service restaurants rely on their marketing department to stand out amongst the competition. Agency Spotter has garnered a list of influential quick-service marketing leaders who are impacting your favorite restaurants.

We found leaders who aren’t afraid to take risks and push the creative boundaries. As a result, these men and women have helped to revolutionize marketing efforts within the industry.

Let’s meet a few of the most innovative marketers in the fast food restaurant sector.

marketing leaders

Andrea Zahumensky – CMO at KFC

marketing leaders

Since 2017, Andrea has worked at KFC where she and her team have worked to bring the company’s advertising to the next level. As CMO, one of her primary responsiblities is to accelerate KFC’s growth as well as present the brand as one that people can trust. One of Andrea’s first decisions at KFC was initiating Reba McEntire as their first female Colonel Sanders.

Click the images below to see some of Andrea’s contributions to KFC’s marketing efforts.

Brad Haley – CMO at IHOP

marketing leaders

As IHOP’s CMO, Brad helps drive the company’s culinary and marketing strategies. One of the first campaigns he contributed to was a commercial that featured two pilots who were eager to get to the restaurant and order a stack of pancakes. As a prominent fast food marketing leader, Brad has received a number of awards. In 2018, Entrepreneur magazine recognized him as one of the 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs.

Select the pictures below to see some of his marketing contributions to IHOP.

Brandon Solano – CMO at Pei Wei

marketing leaders

In 2017, Brandon joined the executive team at Pei Wei. Prior to this, he worked at a number of different food brands including: Wendys, Dominos, The Hershey Company, and more. One of the most unique things he has done throughout his marketing career was during his time at Hershey. It was there that Brandon convinced his bosses to release the Elvis Cup. However, at Pei Wei, Brandon has helped the company brainstorm playful tactics to better combat their competition.

Check out Brandon’s work below.

Chris Brandt – CMO at Chipotle Mexican Grill

marketing leaders

As Chipotle’s Chief Marketing Officer, one of Chris’s major goals is to help turn this company from a food brand to a lifestyle brand. So far during his time with the company, he has been working to redefine the Chipotle brand as one that is cultivating a better world. Prior to joining in 2018, he worked at Bloomin’ Brands, Taco Bell, The Coca-Cola Company, among others.

See a few of Chris’ contributions to Chipotle.

Chris Hollander – Senior Vice President of Marketing at Panera Bread

marketing leaders

Chris first began his journey at Panera in 2010 as vice president of marketing. By 2016, he had worked his way up to his current position. In this current role, Chris oversees all marketing actives at the company. As Senior Vice President, Chris worked alongside their advertising agency to develop Panera’s new tagline, “Food As It Should Be” to promote brand’s dedication towards transparency.

Click the images below to see some of the “Food As It Should Be” campaign.

Christine Bragg – Senior Marketing Manager, Strategic Partnerships & Promotions at Subway

marketing leaders

Christine first began her journey at Subway in 2015. As head of strategic partnerships and promotions, she is responsible for identifying, securing, and activating strategic partnerships that create positive brand buzz for Subway. Some of her accomplishments include: launching the company’s first ever music festival platform and leading the brands first National Sandwich Day campaign.

Check out Christine’s contributions below.

Dennis Maloney – SVP & Chief Digital Officer at Domino’s

marketing leaders

In 2010, Dennis began his journey at Domino’s as VP of Multimedia Marketing. Five years later, Dennis was promoted to his current role where he’s responsible for leading the transformation of Domino’s into a world class digital brand. During his time at this pizza company, he has supervised multiple digital innovations. A few of these include emoji ordering, zero click ordering, and integration with the Amazon Echo.

Select the pictures below to see some of his marketing contributions to Domino’s.

Fernando Machado – Global CMO at Burger King

marketing leaders

After spending 18 years at Unilever, Fernando joined Burger King. Since joining the company in 2014, he has encourage Burger King to push the creative boundaries as a way to generate growth. With his leadership, they became the Cannes 2017 Creative Marketer of the Year. As a highly ranked marketing leader within the industry, Fernando has receive numerous accolades. One includes being named Adweek’s 2018 Grand Brand Genius.

Check out a few of the campaigns Fernando has led.

Hector Muñoz – CMO at El Pollo Loco

marketing leaders

In 2018, Hector joined the executive team at El Pollo Loco as Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to this role, he spent time at Church’s Chicken, Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Burger King, among others. He joined El Pollo Loco during an important time as the company began a brand refresh in the beginning of 2019. This current position, has Hector overseeing all marketing and brand strategy initiatives.

Check out Hector’s contributions below.

Hope Diaz – Global CMO at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

fast food marketers

In 2017, Hope joined Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen as Global CMO. In this role, she aims to drive the brand forward in a way that connects with their customers. She aspires to do this all while maintaining their brand identity. Before joining the team at Popeyes, Hope spent 10 years at Burger King. One of the campaigns she has overseen in her current role, was Popeyes unveiling of their 12 Hour Drive-Thru.

See the drive-thru and other marketing initiative below.

Jackie Woodward – CMO at Bojangles

marketing leaders

In April 2019, Jackie started working at Bojangles as CMO. Despite only recently joining the company, she came to the brand with over 30 years of marketing experience. Before taking on this role, she served as Global Chief Marketing Officer for Krispy Kreme. In addition to this role, she has worked at General Mills, MillerCoors, and McDonalds.

See some of her marketing contributions to the food and beverage Industry.

Jay Livingston – CMO at Shake Shack

marketing leaders

At the beginning of 2019, Jay joined the executive team at Shake Shack. Prior to this role, he was CMO at BARK, the makers of the BarkBox. He also spent over 20 years at the Bank of America. In his position at Shake Shack, Jay’s primary responsibility is to lead strategic and innovative marketing. Along with this, he aims to develop a meaningful experience for every customer.

Check out Jay’s contributions below.

Jim Taylor – CMO at Arby’s 

marketing leaders

In 2017, Jim was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer. He believes that Arby’s doesn’t need to spend the big bucks to remain competitive. With unique campaigns, they can stand out while also entertaining their audience. One of the most unique campaigns he has contributed entailed working with Moxie and Georgia Tech to develop the world’s largest and smallest ads.

See a few of Jim’s marketing contributions.

John Dillion – Chief Brand Officer, SVP Marketing at Denny’s

marketing leaders

Since joining Denny’s in 2007, John has held positions such as VP of Marketing and CMO before being named their Chief Brand Officer. In fact, he is leading this restaurants aggressive rebranding. As a prominent marketing leader within the industry, John has received a number of awards. He was named to Business Insider’s “Top 50 Innovative CMOs in the World”and to 2018 Nation’s Restaurant News “Power 50.”

Click the images below to Denny’s rebranding efforts.

Jon Bridges – Senior Vice President, CMO at Chick-fil-A

marketing leaders

Jon first joined the Chick-fil-A family in 1998. His current role at the company is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. One of his greatest impacts on the company, came in 2016 shortly after becoming CMO. He strongly believed that Chick-fil-A needed to redirect their branding approach. This is what led the fast food restaurant to adopt a “cows-plus marketing” strategy.

See a few of Jon’s contributions here.

Kurt A. Kane – President U.S. & Chief Commercial Officer at Wendy’s

marketing leaders

Since June 2019, Kurt has served as Wendy’s President, U.S. and Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to this, he worked as the Chief Marketing and Concept Officer. One of his greatest contributions during that role was developing the brand’s unique voice across all marketing channels. Undeniably a well known quick-service marketing leader, Kurt has earned a number of industry honors. Such as one of PR Week magazine’s “Top 40 Marketing Innovators to Watch.”

Click the images below to see some of the Wendy’s unique social media persona.

Lori Abou Habib – Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Sonic Drive-In

marketing leaders

Lori first joined Sonic in 2007. Now she serves as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer where she leads national marketing, media, digital strategy, marketing technology and product innovation. Right now, Lori is focusing her efforts heavily on digital media as a way to reach a new audience. In addition to this, she is focused on helping the brand implement a variety of modern upgrades.

See some of Lori’s marketing contributions.

Maria Hokanson – Executive Vice President, U.S. Marketing at Dairy Queen

marketing leaders

Maria first started at Dairy Queen in 2004. As Executive Vice President of U.S. Marketing, Maria and her team have a large focus on modernizing the company. She believes that it is crucial to continue to develop conversations customer relationships via the digital space. In addition to this marketing tactic, Maria thinks a crucial aspect of contenting to grow the Dairy Queen brand is by pursuing more unique products.

View some of Dairy Queen’s marketing below.

Marianne Radley – Chief Brand Officer at Pizza Hut U.S.

marketing leaders

Marianne joined the Pizza Hut team in 2018. As the Chief Brand Officer she oversees the fast food restaurants advertising, digital marketing, consumer insights, and culinary and quality assurance teams. Before joining Pizza Hut, she worked at Monster Beverage Company and Anheuser-Busch InBev. However, in her current role, Marianne firmly believes Pizza Hut’s marketing success lies in the branding remaining authentic.

See some of their marketing initiative below.

Matthew Ryan – Executive VP & CMO at Starbucks

marketing leaders

Matthew first started at Starbucks in 2013 as Executive Vice President and Global Chief Strategy Officer. In 2018, he took on his current role where he leads the marketing, brand and product functions, and focuses on developing a customer-centric brand. Before working at Starbucks, Matthew spent over 15 years with The Walt Disney Company. There he led the global brand equity throughout the company.

Check out a few of the campaigns Matthew has led.

Shivram Vaideeswaran – CMO at Jamba 

marketing leaders

Shivram joined Jamba in January 2019. As CMO, he oversees the digital, social media, loyalty program, and overall look of the brand. Prior to joining Jamba, he worked at Blaze Pizza where he led digital and delivery launches. In addition to this, he spent time at Taco Bell and Tender Greens. During his time as Head of Marketing for Taco Bell International, he oversaw the opening of the first restaurants in Japan and China.

Check out Jamba Juice’s work below.

Silvia Lagnado – Executive VP & Global CMO at McDonalds

marketing leaders

Silvia joined the McDonalds’ family in 2015 as Executive VP & Global CMO. In late July, it was announced that she plans to leave the brand this coming October. However, it is undeniable the impact she has had on fast food marketing. She is responsible for the partnership between McDonalds and Disney. Prior to this role, she worked at Unilever as Dove’s first Global Brand Director. In this position, she oversaw the “Campaign for Real Beauty.” 

See some Silvia’s marketing contributions.

Tony Weisman – CMO at Dunkin’ 

marketing leaders

In 2017, Tony was named Chief Marketing Officer for Dunkin’ U.S. In this role, he is responsible for everything marketing related. This includes: advertising, consumer insights, media, product innovation, and loyalty marketing. Undoubtedly an experienced marketing leader, Tony has received a number of awards. In 2018, Forbes listed him as one of the “World’s Most Influential CMOs.” More recently, Business Insider named one of “25 Most Innovative CMOs in the World.”

Click the images below to Tony’s contributions to Dunkin’s rebranding efforts.

Tracee Larocca – Senior VP, Advertising and Brand Engagement at Taco Bell

marketing leaders

Tracee has been with Taco Bell since 1999 and brings over 20 years experience to her current role at Taco Bell. In this position she oversees, advertising, social, sports, music partnerships, and more. Tracee worked with her team to lead Taco Bell brand repositioning for “Live Más.” In additions to this, she has overseen a number of successful product launches. All of Tracee’s efforts have led to over a dozen Cannes Lions awards for Taco Bell.

Click the images below to see some of the product launches.


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