CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The American Marketing Association (AMA), the largest professional marketing association in North America, announced today that Russ Klein will become the Association’s new CEO, joining the organization effective August 11th. An accomplished marketer with more than 30 years of experience in both the corporate and agency settings, Klein most recently served as the chief marketing officer for Arby’s. Klein replaces Dennis Dunlap, who is retiring after 15 years as CEO of the AMA.
Klein joins the AMA as the organization moves forward on a number of important strategies, including international growth, particularly in China, as well as illuminating the envisioned future state of marketing for its members.
“For more than a decade, Dennis successfully built the AMA into the dynamic organization that it is today. He expanded the AMA’s global footprint, created new offerings and ensured a strong financial position,” said Ric Sweeney, current Chairperson of the American Marketing Association Board of Directors. “Thanks to Dennis’ leadership during a critical point in the AMA’s history, the organization is exceptionally well positioned for Russ Klein to take it to the next level. Given Russ’ tremendous experience we can’t think of a better person to take the helm.”
Klein is a recognized marketing innovator who brings three decades of experience with some of the world’s foremost brands. Prior to his role at Arby’s, Klein served as CMO for Burger King, 7-Eleven, and Dr Pepper/7Up companies. Known as a pioneer in integrating digital and broadcast media, as well as content marketing, Klein has led highly successful revitalized brands and businesses on behalf of several pre-eminent private equity firms including Bain, Goldman Sachs, Hicks & Haas, Roark Capital and TPG. In addition to launching new brands in China, he received numerous awards and recognitions including a Titanium Lion at Cannes and “Advertiser of the Decade 2000s” by Adweek.
“Disruption is the new normal in marketing,” said Klein. “The AMA has long been a trusted source of insights for the marketing world and I consider it a real privilege to guide the organization into the frontiers that lie ahead. The AMA will continue to be a torchbearer in lighting up the pathways of change not only in the future state of marketing but commerce in general.”
Amidst the changing marketing and media landscape, the AMA plans to release in the coming months a new collection of commentary and insights on the future state of marketing. It will explore various paths of change going on in the industry.
“Marketing isn’t just for marketers anymore,” said Dunlap. “It is an enterprise-wide capability that will soon distinguish an organization’s ability to manage and grow in this high-change environment.”
In addition to senior marketing roles for multiple corporations, Klein’s early agency experience included the account management and leadership positions at Leo Burnett Company and Foote Cone & Belding where he managed such brands as Gatorade, Kimberly-Clark, McDonald’s and United Airlines.
“I was involved in hiring Russ at Leo Burnett 30 years ago and nothing could be more poetic than to be part of his selection to succeed me at the AMA,” said Dunlap.
The AMA's Board of Directors retained executive search firm SpencerStuart to conduct an exhaustive international search for the CEO position.
“This was a global search, in every sense of the word, and SpencerStuart did an exceptional job in identifying candidates worldwide,”said Rob Malcolm, member, AMA Board of Directors and Chairman-Elect. “We were very fortunate to have an incredible pool of top marketers in consideration for this role who share our passion and commitment to marketing science."
About the AMA
The American Marketing Association (AMA) was established in 1937 by visionaries in marketing and academia. Today, the AMA has grown to be one of the largest marketing associations in the world with 30,000 members in 118 countries and across 74 professional chapters and 345 collegiate chapters throughout North America.
The AMA serves organizations and individuals who practice, teach and study marketing across the globe. Its mission is to serve as a forum for connecting like-minded individuals to foster knowledge sharing and relationship building; to be a trusted resource for marketing information, tools, education and training; and to advance marketing practice and thought leadership. For more information, visit www.ama.org.