Leadership

Andrea Zahumensky, KFC’s U.S. marketing chief, has left the company

The executive helped guide the chicken chain through some of its most notable promotions.
KFC marketing chief
Photograph: Shutterstock

Andrea Zahumensky, who guided some of the restaurant industry’s most well-known promotional campaigns while head of marketing at KFC U.S., has left the company, a spokesperson for the chain confirmed on Friday.

The company has started a search for a new chief marketing officer. 

“Andrea has played a critical role in elevating KFC’s brand with industry-leading innovation and marketing activations, which have contributed to profitable same-store sales growth and helped build KFC into a more modern and relevant brand,” the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Her contributions have been many, and we are wishing her all the best in her next chapter.”

The publication Ad Age first reported Zahumensky’s departure.  It comes at a time of considerable upheaval in the domestic markets at both KFC and its sister chain Pizza Hut, both owned by the Louisville, Ky.-based Yum Brands.

Kevin Hochman, president of KFC U.S., was named interim president of Pizza Hut U.S. just more than a year ago as part of an effort to turn that brand around. That brand has since overhauled its marketing department following the departure of CMO George Felix.

Zahumensky came to KFC in 2017 from Procter & Gamble, where she had worked for more than 20 years.

In the years since, KFC has engineered some notable marketing campaigns, featuring its famous founder, Colonel Sanders. It has used his image in such things as a bearskin rug and as the lead character in a Lifetime holiday mini-movie starring Mario Lopez called “Recipe for Seduction.”

“Some of them are so crazy, you can’t even imagine,” Zahumensky told Restaurant Business in 2019, referring to the Valentine’s Day bearskin rug promotion. “Even if you think the bearskin rug is crazy, there are things even crazier than that.”

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