×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Snap Taps McDonald’s Marketing Exec Kenny Mitchell as First CMO

Snap, as part of rebuilding its senior exec team and angling to boost growth, has hired its first chief marketing officer: Kenny Mitchell, a consumer-marketing veteran who has worked at McDonald’s, Gatorade, NBC Sports Group and NASCAR.

Mitchell will join the company in June 2019, reporting to CEO and cofounder Evan Spiegel. Mitchell will lead all consumer and product marketing programs at Snap, which has struggled over the past year to grow its user base. While he is Snap’s first CMO, he assumes duties that were previously the purview of former VP of marketing Steve LaBella, who exited the social messaging and media company last fall.

“Kenny’s consumer marketing expertise and his deep understanding of our products will be a great combination for Snap,” Spiegel said in announcing his hire. “Throughout his career, Kenny has demonstrated his ability to successfully execute innovative, global marketing campaigns, many of which have leveraged our own vertical video and augmented reality products.”

In an memo to staff in October, Spiegel outlined the need for better marketing and communications — and acknowledged missteps with Snapchat’s widely criticized app redesign in 2018. “We rushed our redesign, solving one problem but creating many others,” the CEO wrote in the memo. “The biggest mistake we made with our redesign was compromising our core product value of being the fastest way to communicate.”

Mitchell’s hire comes after a string of high-level departures from Snap’s senior management ranks in the past year. In addition to LaBella, those include chief strategy officer Imran Khan, chief content officer Nick Bell, head of ad sales Jeff Lucas (now at Verizon Media), and CFO Tim Stone.

In the past six months, Snap has recruited three senior execs: Jeremi Gorman, chief business officer, former head of ad sales at Amazon; Jared Grusd, chief strategy officer, ex-CEO of Huffington Post; and Julie Henderson, chief communications officer, formerly with 21st Century Fox.

Snap last month widely released an overhauled version of its Android app, which it hopes will drive up active users. In the first quarter of 2019, the company beat Wall Street financial expectations and — for the first time in a year — expanded its user base, netting 4 million daily active users to hit 190 million in the period.

Most recently, Mitchell was VP of brand content and engagement for McDonald’s USA, where he led the fast-food chain’s strategic brand and consumer marketing agenda in the U.S. Prior to joining McDonald’s in early 2018, he was head of consumer engagement at Gatorade, where he led all global integrated consumer marketing efforts and pioneered the use of Snapchat vertical video and augmented reality tools. Those included Gatorade’s viral Gatorade Dunk AR Lens for the Super Bowl and the sports drink’s Serena Williams-themed Snap Ad game, which was played with by Snapchat users for an average of over 200 seconds, according to the company.

Mitchell has also overseen brand and consumer marketing for NASCAR and was VP/GM at the Dew Tour, a division of the NBC Sports Group. Mitchell holds a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.

Mitchell, in a statement provided by the company, said: “Snap is a great company with strong values, an inspired vision and innovative products that are empowering its global community. I look forward to helping Evan and Snap continue to tell their story to people around the world, and working with my new colleagues as we define the future of the camera and self-expression.”

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey

    Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey as Chief Executive Officer

    Independent audiobook publisher Podium Publishing has selected veteran media executive Scott P. Dickey as chief executive officer. Greg Lawrence, former CEO and co-founder,  remains as Podium’s publisher and a member of the board of directors. As CEO, Dickey will set and implement the day-to-day and long-term marketing, production and business strategy for the company as [...]

  • "The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Rajesh

    Inside the Blockbuster $600 Million 'Big Bang Theory' Streaming Deal With HBO Max

    As one of TV’s most popular shows of the past 20 years, “The Big Bang Theory” was sure to command a huge price when the streaming rights were finally shopped in a red-hot market for iconic comedies with large libraries. But “Big Bang Theory” wasn’t shopped widely on the open market before the streaming pact [...]

  • Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

    Mark Zuckerberg Can Be Overruled by Facebook's New Oversight Board on Content Decisions

    Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, can’t be ousted by investors — he owns a controlling interest in the company’s voting shares. But according to the social giant, the new Oversight Board — colloquially called Facebook’s “Supreme Court” — that it is setting up to adjudicate appeals about whether to leave up or take [...]

  • YouTube - Google UK Offices

    Google Launches Ability to Find Key Moments in YouTube Videos via Search

    Google has introduced a new way to find exact moments in YouTube videos through its search engine, with initial partners including CBS Sports. According to Google, search results now will provide links to key moments within the video — if, that is, YouTube content creators have provided the necessary timestamp information to Google. “You’ll be [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Directv Now

    AT&T Sued for Allegedly Creating Bogus DirecTV Now Accounts

    A group of investors sued AT&T, alleging the telco artificially inflated subscriber counts for its DirecTV Now streaming service — including by creating fake accounts. In the federal class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AT&T wanted to make DirecTV Now seem more successful than it actually was as another way to rationalize its $85 billion [...]

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content