Restaurant, Retail, Consumer Chief Marketing Officer Karlin Linhardt Brings C-Level Insights to Chief Outsiders

Linhardt joins the 100-strong group of CMOs after successful leadership of iconic brands in the quick service/fast casual dining and CPG/alcohol spaces

Karlin Linhardt, a longtime Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) who has delivered world-class marketing insights to such well-known brands as McDonald’s, Subway, Papa John’s, and Anheuser-Busch, is now able to deliver similar outcomes for small- and midsized businesses as a member of Chief Outsiders, it was announced.

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Linhardt has joined the team of more than 100 fractional CMOs at Chief Outsiders, and is available for right-sized client engagements that comprise the company’s client base. Linhardt’s leadership has delivered turnaround, innovation, and growth for top brands in the QSR/fast casual and CPG/alcohol spaces.

Throughout his storied career of leading marketing efforts for multi-unit retail brands, Linhardt has espoused a simple truth: all retail is local. This “think globally, act locally” approach was pivotal during his tenure at Papa John’s International, where, as Global CMO, Linhardt successfully delivered the first positive sales comp in 2-1/2 years while leading a performance turnaround. He notched his first QSR success at McDonald’s, where, as a senior marketing executive, he drove two years of double-digit sales increases in the family/Happy Meal segment.

It took a different set of skills to foster success while at Subway, as Linhardt joined the sandwich giant just as the company was dealing with a scandal involving its longtime spokesman. As SVP of Marketing at Subway, Linhardt led the successful rehabilitation of the company’s family image, with resulting growth in sales and all major consumer metrics evidenced after the brand relaunch.

“Karlin delivers effective brand and product positioning and high-impact action plans with a sense of urgency,” said David Vroom, Managing Partner, Chief Outsiders. “He de-mystifies digital for effective integration and measurable results, while leading teams that help business owners focus on research, analytics, and budget/risk management for seamless execution.”

Linhardt earned his Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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