Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. announces that its chief marketing officer, Russ Klein, has decided to depart from the company.
“We are very grateful to Russ for his tremendous contributions to Arby’s strong performance and growth,” says Jon Luther, chairman of Arby’s Restaurant Group. “Since joining us early last year, Russ led the revitalization of our marketing program and contributed to excellent business results. In my over 30 years in this business, Russ stands among the best CMOs I’ve ever worked with. We wish him every success in his future endeavors and would work with him again in a minute.”
“I am very proud of the incredible work we’ve done,” Klein says. “Today, Arby’s has a deep pipeline of products backed by creative advertising that’s been driving sales at the store level. With these building blocks firmly in place, I am excited about what the future holds in store – both for Arby’s and myself.”
Klein adds, “I am very grateful for the faith that Roark Capital and Jon Luther placed in me to lead marketing for this great, iconic brand.”
Klein played a leading role in developing numerous market-tested products that are ready for launch. Under his leadership, Arby’s Open Innovation System has produced a large number of qualified new products, including two sandwiches that have received all-time high ratings among consumers for the company.
Klein also led the development of Arby’s highly-effective brand positioning as well as advertising campaigns that exceed industry norms and have contributed to ten consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth – one of the longest such streaks in Arby’s history.
Klein has a 25-year track record of marketing management, brand turnarounds, and value creation at Burger King, 7-Eleven, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up, and other brands.
Over the course of his career, Klein has launched new brands, repositioned existing brands, and brought “talked about” ideas to the marketplace. He has been publicly acknowledged by numerous “Top Marketer” lists spanning three decades, including “Top 100 Marketer” by Advertising Age and “Marketer of the Year” twice by Brand Week. Klein was also an early pioneer in social and digital media, earning “Digital Campaign of the Decade” from Ad Age and “Campaign of the Year” from The Wall Street Journal.
Klein is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program and received his bachelor of science in business administration from Ohio State University.