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PIZZA HUT ANNOUNCES KALEN THORNTON AS GLOBAL CHIEF BRAND OFFICER

Melissa Friebe To Become Chief Marketing Officer, Pizza Hut U.S., from Taco Bell

PLANO, Texas, May 20, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Pizza Hut announced two new executive marketing appointments.

PIZZA HUT ANNOUNCES KALEN THORNTON AS GLOBAL CHIEF BRAND OFFICER.
PIZZA HUT ANNOUNCES KALEN THORNTON AS GLOBAL CHIEF BRAND OFFICER.

Kalen Thornton will join the company as Global Chief Brand Officer reporting to Pizza Hut Division Chief Executive Officer, Aaron Powell, effective June 10. In this role, Thornton will lead Pizza Hut's global brand strategy and oversee all aspects of marketing across 110 markets and territories. Thornton will also be responsible for guiding the brand to a new chapter of relevance – harnessing the power of strategic, engaging customer connections across physical and digital touchpoints and ensuring that the brand maintains its status as a cultural icon.

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Thornton most recently served as Vice President of Sports and Entertainment Marketing for PepsiCo North America, where he led partnerships and built brand affinity across sports entertainment properties – leveraging media, content, and activation investments to drive growth for the beverage portfolio. During his time at PepsiCo, Thornton also served as Chief Marketing Officer of Gatorade. Before diving into the beverage business, Thornton held multiple marketing leadership roles for the Nike and Jordan brands over nearly ten years, where he was instrumental in leading transformational brand initiatives.

"Kalen is a visionary and a proven leader who understands how to create memorable moments for consumers," shared Powell. "With a strong record of building celebrated global brands, Kalen is the right leader to help us connect a new generation through the joy of pizza. I am thrilled for him to join our team and help us take Pizza Hut to the next level."

"I believe creativity, community and culture bring people together," said Thornton. "I'm humbled at the opportunity to contribute to Pizza Hut's long legacy as a brand that connects across those dimensions, and I'm thrilled to help shape the future resonance and growth of this iconic brand."

In addition to Thornton's appointment, Melissa Friebe will become Chief Marketing Officer, U.S., reporting to incoming Pizza Hut U.S. President, Carl Loredo. Friebe joins Pizza Hut from Taco Bell, where she served in a number of positions over nearly three decades with the brand, most recently as Chief Brand Strategy Officer. In her new role at Pizza Hut, she will lead all aspects of marketing for the brand's U.S. business. Friebe will succeed Lindsay Morgan, who is departing the brand after serving more than eight years in various marketing leadership roles.

"I am proud and excited that Pizza Hut is attracting top talent in the industry, and I'm confident that Kalen and Melissa will do great things in their new roles," said Powell. "I'm also very grateful for the contributions that Lindsay Morgan has made to the Pizza Hut brand over the last many years, including our record-breaking World's Largest Pizza activation and the successful launch of Melts, and we wish her well in her future endeavors."

About Pizza Hut®

Pizza Hut, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), was founded in 1958 in Wichita, Kansas and since then has earned a reputation as a trailblazer in innovation with the creation of icons like Original® Pan and Original® Stuffed Crust pizzas. In 1994, Pizza Hut pizza was the very first online food order. Today, Pizza Hut continues leading the way in the digital and technology space with over half of transactions worldwide coming from digital orders. Pizza Hut is committed to providing an easy pizza experience – from order to delivery – and has Hut Rewards®, the Pizza Hut loyalty program that offers points for every dollar spent on food any way you order. Hut Rewards is open to U.S. residents 16+. See applicable terms at https://hutrewards.pizzahut.com/terms/.  A global leader in the pizza category, Pizza Hut operates more than 19,500 restaurants in 110 markets and territories. Through its enormous presence, Pizza Hut works to unlock opportunity for its team members and communities around the world.

Press Contact:
pizza@abmc-us.com

 

Melissa Friebe To Become Chief Marketing Officer, Pizza Hut U.S., from Taco Bell.
Melissa Friebe To Become Chief Marketing Officer, Pizza Hut U.S., from Taco Bell.
(PRNewsfoto/Pizza Hut)
(PRNewsfoto/Pizza Hut)
Cision
Cision

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SOURCE Pizza Hut