Andrea Zahumensky, chief marketing officer for Kentucky Fried Chicken since 2017, has left her position at the company, a spokesperson confirmed Friday. The Yum Brands-owned chain has not announced a replacement as a search is currently underway according to the company.
Zahumensky is leaving for unnamed opportunities and her last day was April 15.
“Andrea has played a critical role in elevating KFC’s brand with industry-leading innovation and marketing activations, which have contributed to profitable same store sales growth and helped build KFC into a more modern and relevant brand,” a KFC spokesperson told Nation’s Restaurant News. “Her contributions have been many, and we are wishing her all the best in her next chapter. A search for a replacement that will maintain this strong trajectory and continue to win with customers is currently underway.”
During her four years with KFC, Zahumensky was responsible for the marketing campaign using celebrities as the chain’s famous founder Colonel Harland Sanders. Colonels have included people such as Reba and Sean Astin. Zahumensky was also responsible for a video with Chippendale dancers dressed as the Colonel. The campaign came full circle with the debut of a 2020 Christmas movie starring Mario Lopez as the colonel.
“You can ... find things that are happening in culture and slap your logo on it, or try to mirror that, [but] the standard that we really hold ourselves to is we want to insert ourselves and authentically be a part of what's happening in culture,” Zahumensky told Marketing Dive in 2019.
She was also responsible for several merchandise-related promotions such as a yule log, KFC x Crocs in 2020 and more consumer-facing campaigns.
Prior to joining KFC in 2017, Zahumensky was an executive with Proctor & Gamble for 20 years.
Zahumensky is the latest in a string of restaurant CMOs to leave posts with no replacement waiting in the wings. Last week, RBI’s chief marketing officer resigned from his position and Pizza Hut’s CMO left amid other leadership changes in the Yum Brands-owned company. Pizza Hut is also looking for a CEO after Artie Starrs left for the chief executive position at Topgolf Entertainment Group in March.