BURGER KING NAMES NEW MARKETING CHIEF

Russ Klein Held Same Post at 7-Eleven

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CHICAGO (AdAGe.com) -- Burger King Corp. has added the last element to its new executive team, naming Russ Klein chief marketing officer.

Mr. Klein, who held the same post at 7-Eleven, succeeds Chris Clouser, who retired last month. He will oversee consumer insight and strategic branding; product research and development; product and field marketing; and all advertising and media. He joins Burger King June 9.

New campaign
The announcement of his appointment

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comes as the No. 2 burger chain prepares to launch a new branding campaign May 25 by its new advertising agency, WPP Group's Young & Rubicam, New York, under the direction of the chain's new CEO, Brad Blum.

Mr. Blum joined Burger King in January after a new ownership group led by Texas Pacific Group bought the chain from Diageo in December and quickly began building a new leadership team. The previous management, including Mr. Clouser and former chairman-CEO John Dasburg, had led the company's sale process and were not expected to remain.

Mr. Klein, 45, told AdAge.com that he and Mr. Blum during their early interviews discussed the brand repositioning that Mr. Blum has initiated.

Menu development
"In terms of working together on the specific direction, we spoke a lot of the foundation Brad put in motion," Mr. Klein told Adage.com. "It's all work I was very comfortable with ... and we're in harmony on menu development, brand positioning and what makes good advertising versus not so good advertising."

While Mr. Klein plans to "crystallize" the communications plan to guide those elements, in his first 100 days his priority is to "establish a genuine credibility with key stakeholders -- our franchisees, others in operations and other disciplines in the company."

Mr. Klein was an executive vice president and managing director at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote, Cone & Belding Worldwide, Chicago, where he managed the now PepsiCo-owned Gatorade account. He joined FCB from Dr Pepper/Seven-Up, where he was senior vice president and executive officer in charge of marketing.

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