Pepsi VP Russell J. Weiner to Join Domino's as CMO

Is Second Major Marketing Exec to Leave Beverage Giant in Recent Months

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Russell J. Weiner is the new exec VP-chief marketing officer at Domino's. He was previously VP-marketing for colas at Pepsi-Cola North America. In his former post, Mr. Weiner oversaw the Pepsi brand, a $14 billion business accounting for 50% of Pepsi's North American volume. He will start at Domino's later this month.
Russell J. Weiner
Russell J. Weiner

Mr. Weiner, 39, replaces Ken Calwell, who left the company in May, and is now taking over as CMO of Wendy's.

Pepsi spokeswoman Nicole Bradley said that Mr. Weiner's replacement has yet to be named. He is still working at the company.

Mr. Weiner is the second major marketing executive to leave Pepsi since the summer. Former Senior VP-Chief Marketing Officer Cie Nicholson left her post in July. Pepsi has been struggling to stave off declines in its soda business as consumers eye better-for-you alternatives.

Domino's, meanwhile, posted its 58th-consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, an impressive 7%, in July. According to TNS Media Intelligence, the pizza chain spent $132 million in measured media during 2007. (Pepsi, by comparison, spent $162 million on its flagship cola brand last year. That level, however, represented a 16% decline from 2006.) Crispin Porter & Bogusky handles creative for Domino's.

Work was well-recognized
Mr. Weiner joined Pepsi in 1998 and worked in a number of marketing positions on a variety of brands, including Aquafina, Lipton, Starbucks and Hawaiian Punch. As senior manager-foodservice innovation, he developed new products for Taco Bell, KFC and 7-Eleven.

While Mr. Weiner was VP-marketing at Pepsi, his Diet Pepsi Max spot, "Wake up People," won an Effie and was nominated for an Emmy. He also spearheaded "Pepsi Stuff," an online, millennial-targeted promotion with downloadable music. The associated 2008 Super Bowl spot featuring Justin Timberlake was one of the game's most-talked-about ads.

Mr. Weiner was also one of Advertising Age's "40 Under 40" in 2007.

"I could not possibly be more excited about joining the Domino's team," Mr. Weiner said in a statement. "The people, the brand and the category itself all hold such promise of even greater performance to come, and I want to be a key player in that effort."

Mr. Weiner got his start as an account executive at Kobs & Draft Advertising, overseeing Home Box Office and Phillip Morris Parliament Lights. He later moved to Phillip Morris as an associate brand manager for Benson & Hedges.
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