Brinker names George Felix Chili’s CMO

Former Tinder CMO also worked at P&G, Yum Brands

Brinker International named George Felix chief marketing officer, Chili’s Grill + Bar. In his new role, Brinker indicated Felix would provide the oversight, leadership and vision for all marketing programs and initiatives of the 1,600-unit casual-dining chain. The new Chili’s CMO will assume his new role July 21.

Felix’s marketing career has spanned several years at iconic brands, including Procter & Gamble (P&G), Yum! Brands and Tinder. He has established a track record of reinvigorating legacy brands, creating excitement for them again.

At P&G, Felix’s grasp of brand management, mobile strategy and innovation proved valuable; there, he also led award-winning advertising campaigns. These included the “Smell Like a Man” brand relaunch for Old Spice, noted a Brinker announcement.

Notably, during his tenure at Yum! Brands, he served as director of marketing for KFC and CMO for Pizza Hut. At those Yum brands, he helped lead and launch campaigns, including KFC’s “Return of Colonel Sanders” and Pizza Hut’s “Newstalgia” campaign. These campaigns helped to bring them into the modern age and created sustained sales growth.

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In his most recent role, Felix served as CMO of Tinder, where he led the development of the company’s new global brand positioning while redefining its mission statement.

“George has a track record of driving sales quickly and rebuilding big brands over time,” said Kevin Hochman, president and chief executive of Brinker. “He is also a servant leader with a focus on growing people – which makes him a perfect fit for our Chili’s culture. I am confident George will bring a fresh perspective to serving our Guests and our Team Members.”

In 2018, Ad Age named Felix its “Brand Marketer of the Year.” Plus, in 2016 he made the outlet’s 40 Under 40 list. During his career, his campaigns have drawn prestigious recognition, including 14 Cannes Lions, four Effies and an Emmy for Best Commercial.

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“Chili’s is such an iconic brand that’s not only culturally relevant, but also known for its irreverent approach to advertising and marketing,” remarked Felix. “I’m excited to lean on my brand positioning and advertising experience to find new opportunities for building momentum and accelerating growth for this great brand.”

Furthermore, during Felix’s time at KFC, the brand was named to Ad Age’s 2016 Marketer A-List as one of the top 10 brands of the year.

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