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Papa John’s names Brandon Rhoten CMO

Appointment of Wendy’s executive signals pizza chain’s eye towards digital

Papa John’s International Inc. has named Brandon Rhoten global chief marketing officer, the company said on Wednesday.

Rhoten was most recently vice president for media and digital/social at The Wendy’s Co. At Papa John’s, he will oversee domestic and international marketing efforts for the Louisville, Ky.-based pizza chain, reporting to president Steve Ritchie.

“Brandon was a key contributor in Wendy’s resurgence within the QSR hamburger category, advancing their brand positioning, creative, media, digital marketing and now renowned social media presence,” Ritchie said in a statement. He also called Rhoten (left) a disruptor in the industry.

The announcement is a sign that Papa John’s wants to take its marketing to a new level, particularly on the digital side.

Papa John’s said Rhoten will be tasked with enhancing advertising, digital marketing and social media efforts, with a focus on the chain’s quality. He will also be charged with finding new ways to amplify Papa John’s international growth.

Rhoten is given some credit for helping re-establish Wendy’s marketing presence. During his tenure there, the quick-service burger chain generated considerable buzz for its digital marketing.

One notable success was the #NuggsForCarter Twitter campaign, in which a teenager earned free chicken nuggets for a year after breaking Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar selfie as the most retweeted tweet in history.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

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