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Arby's names Russ Klein CMO

Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. has named Russ Klein chief marketing officer, the company said Wednesday.

Klein has a 25-year track record of marketing management, brand turnarounds and value creation, Arby’s officials said. He served previously as global marketing president for Burger King, where he worked for about six years before resigning in late 2009.

Prior to that, he worked with 7-Eleven, Dr. Pepper, 7-Up and other brands.

Hala Moddelmog, Arby’s president, said in a statement that adding Klein to the team is a “big win for every Arby’s stakeholder.”

“His track record for leveraging consumer insights into powerful communication plans that resonate with consumers, drive sales and ultimately increase value, is unmatched in the industry,” Moddelmog said. “We expect his deep knowledge of the restaurant business, his understanding of the highly competitive landscape, as well as his experience with franchise organizations, will deliver outstanding results for Arby’s.”

Moddelmog said the first phase of Arby’s rebuilding is going well, pointing to the recent five consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth and the launch of the sandwich chain’s new Ultimate Angus Beef platform, which she said has been well received by consumers.

Klein said in a statement that he sees huge potential in Arby’s.

“Arby’s represents one of the largest remaining opportunities left in the restaurant industry to take a large scale, iconic American brand and turn it into a global business,” he said. “So here I am.”

At Arby’s, Klein fills a position that has been vacant for almost five months, following the departure of Steve Davis in September 2011.

The Arby’s chain, which includes more than 3,600 quick-service restaurants systemwide, was purchased by Roark Capital Group in July 2011 for $430 million.

Last week, Arby’s named George Condos its new chief operating officer, replacing Diana Petrovich-Tao.

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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