Arby's Names Rob Lynch CMO-Brand President

Lynch Was Most Recently VP-Brand Marketing at Taco Bell

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Arby's Brand President-CMO Rob Lynch
Arby's Brand President-CMO Rob Lynch

Arby's has named Rob Lynch its marketing chief, a move that comes after the post had a four-month vacancy in the wake of Russ Klein's departure.

Arby's also announced the departure of its president, Hala Moddelmog, "to pursue new leadership opportunities." Ms. Moddelmog oversaw marketing while a search for a CMO was underway. George Condos is now president-chief operating officer. He joined Arby's in January 2012 as chief operating officer.

Mr. Lynch, whose full title is brand president-CMO, will be responsible for all research and development, product innovation, marketing and media for Arby's. He will also focus on building collaborative relationships with franchisees, according to a statement from the company.

"Rob's strong track record of success working with customers and franchisees and leading the advertising and innovation efforts for billion-dollar businesses makes him an ideal addition to our industry-leading executive management team," said Arby's CEO, Paul Brown, in the statement.

It's unclear whether Mr. Lynch's appointment will spur an agency review or the appointment of a new shop.

Mr. Lynch was most recently VP-brand marketing at Taco Bell, where he led development in the innovation pipeline and brand marketing. Prior to Taco Bell, Mr. Lynch spent time in marketing roles at HJ Heinz, where he led the marketing efforts on Ore-Ida and also established a multicultural marketing function, and Procter & Gamble, where he worked on the Crest toothpaste brand.

The Arby's CMO title had been vacant since former Burger King Global CMO Russ Klein left the company in May -- a move that came after a group of the chain's franchisees had sent Ms. Moddelmog a letter airing grievances related to marketing, according to Nation's Restaurant News. The Arby's Franchise Association, the chain's franchise council, late in December sent the letter, noting discontent among franchiees because they had not been given much notice or time to meet Mr. Klein before approving his appointment. Mr. Klein joined the company in January 2012.

The AFA also complained that Mr. Klein had eschewed agency BBDO and tapped CP&B -- which he worked with at Burger King -- without interviewing CP&B or other potential agencies, and despite several months of increasing sales while BBDO was its agency.

Arby's in October 2012 rolled out a rebranding effort and campaign from CP&B that included a new logo and messaging to convince consumers of the food's freshness and position it more directly against Subway. It replaced the 2011 push by BBDO with the tagline "Good mood food."

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