Taco Bell announced the promotion of Marisa Thalberg to chief marketing officer (CMO), where she will oversee all product and brand marketing and consumer engagement. Thalberg, who previously served as chief brand engagement officer at Taco Bell Corp., will report to Taco Bell CEO Brian Niccol.
The leadership move comes as Chris Brandt resigned as chief brand and concept officer to pursue professional opportunities outside of Yum! Brands. “With Chris’ departure, we are fortunate to have proven leadership in place to continue our great momentum,” Niccol says. “I’m confident that Marisa’s deep brand experience and unique background will allow us to continue our position as a brand people passionately trust and champion. We’ve had great success in 2015, and I know our best days are ahead of us.
“I am extremely grateful to Chris for his contributions, leadership, and friendship and know he will be highly successful in his next venture,” Niccol adds. “Chris was instrumental to Taco Bell’s success, contributing to four consecutive years of same-store sales growth, developing and launching break-though platforms including Doritos Locos Tacos, mobile ordering, breakfast, and bringing Live Más to life.”
Prior to Taco Bell, Thalberg spent eight years at The Estée Lauder Companies, where she pioneered the company’s global digital and social marketing as its corporate leader. Starting by elevating the company’s eCommerce marketing, her role quickly expanded to encompass setting the vision, driving overall strategy, and transforming the organization for the quickly evolving needs of digitally and socially driven innovative consumer engagement. Thalberg held various senior level executive marketing positions at, Unilever Cosmetics International, SureFit, and Revlon, with early roots in the agency world.
Thalberg has been named one of the “Top 5 Social Business Leaders in the Nation” by The Economist and IBM, one of 40 Women To Watch Over 40, among many other industry recognitions. She is also the founder of the organization and website Executive Moms (www.executivemoms.com), which was one of the first content and community resources for accomplished working mothers.