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Pizza Hut is getting two new team members in the marketing and branding division.

Pizza Hut names new global chief brand officer and chief marketing officer

Kalen Thornton joins the company as global chief brand officer from PepsiCo, and Melissa Friebe becomes Pizza Hut CMO from Yum sister brand Taco Bell

Yum Brands announced Monday the appointment of two new executives to the Pizza Hut brand: Kalen Thornton joins the company from PepsiCo to become Pizza Hut global chief brand officer, and Melissa Friebe hops Yum brands from Taco Bell to Pizza Hut to become chief marketing officer, U.S.

Thornton joins Pizza Hut from PepsiCo North America, where he most recently served as vice president of sports, entertainment and gaming, and was also chief marketing officer at Gatorade. Before that, Thornton held various roles at Nike, and in his previous career, was a linebacker for the Dallas Cowboys. In his new role, he will lead Pizza Hut's global brand strategy, oversee marketing in 110 markets, and “guide the brand to a new chapter of relevance.”

"Kalen is a visionary and a proven leader who understands how to create memorable moments for consumers," Pizza Hut CEO Aaron Powell said in a statement. "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."

In addition to this appointment, Melissa Friebe will become Pizza Hut’s chief marketing officer, U.S., joining the company from sister brand, Taco Bell, where she has held many roles throughout her 24-year Taco Bell career, most recently serving as chief brand strategy officer. Friebe is replacing Lindsay Morgan, who was Pizza Hut’s CMO for three years, and has served Yum Brands for eight years in total.

"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," Powell said in a statement. "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."

Contact Joanna at [email protected]m

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