DHR International Places Chief Marketing Officer at IHOP

Today’s marketing leaders work with CEOs to accelerate the organization and drive transformation, making the role more critical than ever. Here’s the latest top marketing leader to be placed. Let’s take a look inside the search and the growing need for CMOs.

September 28, 2017 – As business becomes more global and complex, and power shifts from producers of goods and services to consumers, the chief marketing officer’s job of planning and coordinating marketing activities has become more challenging, recruiters say. Yet executive search firms are seeing no shortage of assignments for this important C-level position.

In one example of this growing need for marketing leaders, executive search firm DHR International just recruited industry veteran Brad Haley as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of IHOP Restaurants. Managing partner Ken Schwenke and partner Christine DeYoung led the assignment.

In this role, Mr. Haley is responsible for driving IHOP’s marketing and culinary strategies, including oversight of the brand’s core and promotional menus, leading the development of robust, integrated campaigns, and strengthening the brand’s position in the restaurant breakfast niche. He reports directly to IHOP president Darren Rebelez.

Talented Marketer

“Brad is an exceptionally talented marketer who is uniquely qualified to lead our marketing and culinary efforts, bringing a bold vision to the development of our distinctive menus, integrated breakthrough campaigns, and omni-channel experience, all while grounding the strategy in what our core guests want and expect at IHOP,” said Mr. Rebelez. “His award-winning industry experience, history of working collaboratively with franchise operators, and innovative approach are the perfect ingredients for the future success of this iconic brand.”

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Before joining IHOP, Mr. Haley served as CMO of CKE Restaurants, where he was responsible for all facets of marketing and public relations for the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands. His leadership in brand positioning, traditional and digital advertising, social media, product development, merchandising, analytics, consumer insights, publicity, pricing and promotions helped deliver award-winning campaigns and increased same-store sales for both brands, said DHR.

Mr. Haley will now oversee the development of IHOP Restaurant’s core and promotional menus; culinary pipeline; television, radio and digital advertising; point-of-sale creative; social media; merchandising; and public relations. He is also responsible for further developing on- and off-premise dining for IHOP as well as delivering an enhanced guest experience.

The IHOP chain offers 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options and a wide selection of lunch and dinner items. Today, IHOP has more than 1,700 restaurants around the world, including those in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and the Philippines.

As CMO Post Evolves, Role of Recruiters Seen As Pivotal
As companies become more global and complex, marketing — and the chief marketing officer (CMO) position in particular — has taken on an increasingly crucial and strategic role in moving businesses forward. Clearly, the CMO role is in the midst of change.

The Recruiters

Mr. Schwenke is managing partner of DHR’s hospitality & leisure practice group. He is a veteran board member and corporate executive, having served in leadership roles ranging from command of marine units to serving as president of a billion dollar public company. He is also an experienced consultant in finding executive talent: Mr. Schwenke has conducted more than 400 searches for employers and clients across a wide range of industries and in roles ranging from public company board members and C-suite executives to senior functional and operational leaders.

Ms. DeYoung has extensive operating and marketing leadership experience in both public and private equity owned businesses. She serves as an advisor to growth-oriented, consumer facing clients in public, private and private equity owned businesses, focusing on sales, marketing, innovation, and strategy. She leads assignments across CEO, CMO, COO and CFO roles as well as divisional presidents, general managers, and heads of marketing, sales and other commercial roles.

Chief Marketing Officers

Current business landscape demands have increased the contribution from chief marketing officers, according to the latest research report from Forrester and executive search and leadership advisory firm Heidrick & Struggles. The survey found that CMOs are building strong relationships with the head of product and research & development to prepare the organization for digital disruption.

“We see CMOs moving beyond functional expertise to assume responsibility for driving overall growth within their organizations,” said Sheryl Pattek, VP, CMO executive partner at Forrester. “They are evolving into key strategic partners on the executive team, and know that collaboration with the rest of the C-suite will be instrumental to their success.”

Ms. DeYoung described the CMO role as one of working with the CEO to accelerate the organization and drive transformation. “CMOs also collaborate with other members of the C-suite, especially with a company’s top HR executive to shape the company brand,” she said. “As such, chief marketing executives are gaining rapidly in stature and influence in the C-suite. Executive recruiters have a bird’s-eye view and can compare companies across industries. This provides us with a unique vantage point from which to identify the companies that develop the top C-level marketing leaders.”

That said, companies continue to turn to executive search firms to fill this vital C-level position. Here’s a look at a few recent assignments taken from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Executive search firm MarketPro recruited Tim Surowiecki as the CMO of Sono Bello. The company was looking for a strategic marketing leader who could raise its rapid growth to the next level. That included diversifying and modernizing its marketing strategy to better reach its target audience.

Papa John’s Pizza named Brandon Rhoten as global CMO. Assisting in the search was Hudson, MA-based Pollard Search Group. Founder and managing partner Stephen Pollard led the assignment for the Louisville-headquartered pizza delivery company. The firm completed the search in just 67 days.

PFM Executive Search has placed Paul Hawes as chief marketing officer of destination marketing organization Tourism Victoria. Mr. Hawes has more than 22 years of progressive tourism marketing and sales experience. He arrived in Canada after leading Destination New South Wales (Australia) to expand its presence in the European market.

Caldwell Partners recruited Ann Sung Ruckstuhl as chief marketing officer of publicly traded technology company Unisys Corporation. Jim Bethmann, managing partner and co-leader of the firm’s TMT & IT services and information security practices, led the search. Most recently, Ms. Ruckstuhl was CMO at SOASTA.

HVS Executive Search has placed Mark Mears as chief marketing officer of Slim Chickens. The fast-casual restaurant plans to grow to 600 locations in the next 10 years and needed a marketing executive to further fuel this effort. CEO Court Williams led the search along with vice president Bill Conn.

BSG Team Ventures placed Robert Birdsong as chief marketing officer at the Human Capital Institute (HCI). Mr. Birdsong was previously with CEB Global where he led marketing strategy to achieve product positioning, brand awareness and lead generation for CEB’s talent management solutions.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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