Popeyes hires Little Caesars’ Jeff Klein as new CMO

Brand cites leadership at PepsiCo, shopper marketing experience in replacing Bruno Cardinali

Popeyes hires Little Caesars’ Jeff Klein as new CMO

Popeyes Louisiana Chicken announced late Friday that it has hired Jeff Klein as its new chief marketing officer. He is most recently the chief marketing officer of Little Caesar’s Pizza and a longtime PepsiCo marketer.

Klein, who resigned from Little Caesar’s effective Friday, begins at Popeyes on June 13. He succeeds Bruno Cardinale, who resigned earlier this year.

Restaurant Brands International-owned Popeyes described Klein as a leader with a proven track record in both brand and shopper marketing, serving 15 years with PepsiCo and Frito-Lay. There, Klein headed the launch of Doritos Locos Tacos in partnership with Taco Bell, which Popeyes called “one of the most successful product launches in the past decade,” in a press release.

Klein had been with Little Caesars as CMO and senior VP of global marketing since April of 2019. In a post on his LinkedIn page, Klein described his time with the pizza company “the best three years of my career.”

And making a cheeky reference to his destination he added, “I'll be rooting for #PizzaPizza from the sidelines ... unless you launch a chicken sandwich. Then it's on like Donkey Kong.”

Popeyes’ interim CMO, Matt Rubin, is staying with Popeyes in his role as VP of insights and analytics, and will focus efforts on elevating guest intelligence and data analytics through a new guest insights and analytics function, Popeyes said in a statement.