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Lowe's taps ex-Taco Bell brand chief to lead 'exciting new chapter'

Thalberg arrives at North American retail business Lowe's as it continues a turnaround plan

Former Taco Bell global chief brand officer Marisa Thalberg is to take on the role of executive vice-president and chief brand and marketing officer at DIY chain Lowe's.

The marketer left Taco Bell in August 2018 but remained a strategic advisor to parent company Yum. She brings with her more than 25 years' industry experience, including various senior roles at Unilever, Revlon and The Estée Lauder Companies. The exec joined Taco Bell in 2015 as chief brand engagement officer.

She arrives at North American retail business Lowe's as it continues a turnaround plan which has seen it restructure operations in Canada (including shuttering stores); revamp its e-commerce offering; and focusing on the 'professional contactor' market.

In November, the DIY specialist beat analysts’ expectations and raised its forecast for the year, even as revenue fell short of projections.

In the Q3 the brand's net income rose to $1.05bn versus $629m the previous year.

Marvin R Ellison, Lowe’s president and chief executive (who Thalberg now reports to) said: “Marisa brings extensive experience in building culturally resonant brands and delivering business value through marketing innovation and fresh thinking to inspire and engage customers.

"We are confident Marisa will lead our brand into an exciting new chapter for our customers and associates.”

While at Taco Bell, Thalberg rose up the ranks and steered the business to success by pitching it to customers as a culture-centric lifestyle brand. In the final quarter before she left, sales were up 7%, continuing a steady 17-quarter-long incline of in-store sales for the firm.

Last year, the business said it would not seek a chief marketing officer to replace Thalberg, instead choosing to split her former remit between its two senior vice-presidents: Melissa Friebe and Tracee Larocca.

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