Subway Grabs Accenture's Linhardt for New Marketing Role

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Karlin Linhardt has joined Subway as senior VP of marketing for North America.
Karlin Linhardt has joined Subway as senior VP of marketing for North America. Credit: Subway

Subway, which has been working with Accenture on its digital efforts, has now brought an Accenture executive in-house to run all of its North American marketing.

Subway named Karlin Linhardt to the new role of senior VP-marketing, North America. He oversees its North America marketing teams and core disciplines, including advertising, media planning and execution, menu innovation and development, research and analytics, corporate social responsibility, and tactical events and sponsorships, Subway said.

Linhardt was most recently a senior consultant for Accenture, a role in which he managed the "brand transformation initiative for Subway in conjunction with Accenture's design and construction of the Subway Digital platform," as the sandwich chain described the work in a statement Wednesday. Earlier in his career, Linhardt's marketing roles included years at McDonald's and Anheuser-Busch.

Now Linhardt is responsible for Subway's marketing in the United States and Canada, a massive market that includes more than 30,000 locations. He reports to Jack Luttrell, Subway's director for North America.

"Karlin strategically and operationally understands what we are doing, and the business challenges our franchisees face every day," Tripodi said in a statement. "He will be an impact player toward our objective of transforming Subway at every consumer touchpoint in North America."In June, Subway announced that it was working with Accenture on Subway Digital, a new division dedicated to improving people's experiences as they interact with the brand.

Credit: Subway

Subway, like other restaurants, wants to strengthen its relationships through apps and other methods to entice people to visit more often and to spend more as they try to steal market share from competitors in a sluggish environment. The latest indication of Subway's digital efforts came Tuesday when the company introduced an ordering bot for Messenger at the F8 Facebook Developer Conference.

Subway's hiring of Linhardt comes after the chain last year gave most of its creative business back to former incumbent MMB after working with BBDO for about a year. The company also updated its logo in 2016. Lately, Subway has been promoting the brand with MMB's "search for better" message. Its TV spots in recent weeks have focused on a limited-time Italian Hero sandwich.

Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously said that Linhardt reports to Subway Chief Marketing Officer Joe Tripodi, based on information provided by the company.

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