BKC – WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE MARKETING GUY

A bizarre move on the part of BKC…..

On September 17, Burger King confirmed that Russ Klein, Burger King Corp.’s president of global marketing had taken a personal leave of absence.  The company quickly replaced him with Mike Kappit, senior vice president of business intelligence. 

John Chidsey, Burger King’s chief executive, notified franchisees of the news in an e-mail, in which he wished Klein “a speedy return.”

Apparently, he does but why?

On 4/20/09, I noted that from an advertising standpoint, Burger King had recently made two critical missteps with its edgy advertising tactics.

A month later Business Week ran a story on BKC titled "Burger King's Big Misstep" that  stated that CEO John Chidsey wrested control of marketing from his franchisees; now he's losing business to McDonald's.  Russ Klien was at the helm when the problems started.

In the BKC proxy filed two days ago, the company disclosed that in late August, they granted a “special equity award” to the Global Marketing Officer valued at $2.25 million as a “retention tool”.

It seems a little bizarre that the guy who was in charge of global marketing for Burger King at the time there were “marketing missteps” was offered a big “retention bonus” and takes a sudden leave of absence.