"Brian is a great leader within the Pizza Hut organization," said Scott Bergren, Pizza Hut president. "Additionally, through his brand positioning and customer segmentation work he has laid the foundation for stronger and more effective marketing efforts. I have no doubt that he will do great things for Pizza Hut as our new CMO."
Same-store sales growth
Mr. Bergren credits his new CMO as the architect of Pizza Hut's comeback in recent years. The Yum Brands restaurant is riding three years of same-store sales growth.
The marketer spent $206 million on advertising last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, and is handled by Omnicom Group's BBDO, New York.
Mr. Niccol joined Dallas-based Pizza Hut in 2005 as VP-strategy. He previously spent a decade at Procter & Gamble Co. filling in a variety of brand-management positions. He was named one of Advertising Age's 40 under 40 this year.
Pizza Hut is the world's largest pizza chain, with nearly 11,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries. But Mr. Niccol may have his hands full with more than just the size of his brand: Pizza Hut, along with the other Yum Brands concepts KFC and Taco Bell, has not joined the Better Business Bureau's Children's Advertising Initiative. Many of the chains' competitors have either done so or modified menu items aimed at children.