Sonic Corp. (NASDAQ: SONC) yesterday announced the appointment of Lori Abou Habib as chief marketing officer. As CMO, she holds responsibility for leading brand strategy, product innovation, national marketing, brand management, media, digital strategy and marketing technology.
Abou Habib is a 10-year veteran of SONIC, joining the company in 2007 as a product pipeline manager. Over the past decade, she has led local marketing, brand management, product pipeline and creative for the brand. Most recently serving as vice president of national marketing, her responsibilities included marketing strategy, brand management, marketing calendar and creative. Prior to joining SONIC, she served as regional marketing manager for CKE Restaurants, Inc. and as senior marketing manager for Eateries, Inc.
With Abou Habib’s promotion to chief marketing officer, Darin Dugan will join SONIC as vice president of national marketing. Reporting directly to Dugan will be the brand management and creative teams. Dugan’s 20 years of experience in food and beverage marketing brings strength to this pivotal marketing role. Dugan held a series of progressive positions at Kraft for 16 years including leadership positions for key product categories and brands including Kraft Salad Dressings, Miracle Whip, and Oscar Mayer Foods. He most recently served as senior vice president of marketing and culinary for Applebee’s and was responsible for brand positioning, marketing campaigns and a culinary overhaul.
Rounding out the marketing leadership is newly appointed vice president of digital strategies, Kim Lewis. With a 15-year career in digital and e-commerce, Lewis leads SONIC’s digital strategy, integrated marketing communications and customer relationship management (CRM). Lewis most recently served as consultant to a variety of brands on digital strategy and was previously head of marketing and e-commerce for Golfsmith International.
“I am delighted to elevate Lori to chief marketing officer; she is a talented, strong leader who enjoys the respect of our franchisees and won the position through a highly competitive national search,” said Cliff Hudson, Sonic Corp. CEO. “We were very pleased with the caliber of candidates discovered during the search and are pleased for Darin and Kim to join the team. The decades of experience these three leaders share will propel the business and the brand forward for many years to come.”
In addition to the marketing positions announced today, SONIC is currently recruiting for a chief brand officer. In the future, the marketing team will report to this new function as will SONIC’s ICE – Integrated Customer Engagement – strategy and the evolution of the brand concept. Designed to deliver the most personalized restaurant experience in the quick service industry, ICE utilizes the brand’s proprietary Point-Of-Personalized-Service (POPS) digital menu boards as well as mobile, social and other digital technology.
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