KFC marketing chief heads to checkout for top Asda job

Meghan FarrenKFC chief marketing officer Meg Farren is swapping fast food for cheap as chips shopping by joining supermarket giant Asda as chief customer officer.

Farren succeeds Anna-Maree Shaw, who returned to her native Australia earlier this year; Asda’s chief strategy officer Preyash Thakrar has been handling the role on an interim basis.

Thakrar will continue to oversee the team until Farren joins in October, when he will revert to his core strategy role.

Farren is likely to be one of several key appointments by Asda’s new owners in the coming months as they seek to reshape the executive team. Chief executive Roger Burnley revealed in the spring that he will leave the business early next year.

She began her career at JPMorganChase, then spent nearly five years at US consulting group Marakon before joining Gü Puds in 2008, ultimately taking on the role of director of new business. She has been at KFC UK & Ireland for a decade, the past five as chief marketing officer.

At Asda, she will lead the development and strategy of the brand’s total customer proposition, marketing and management of its brands, leading a team of more than 250, based in Leeds and Lutterworth.

Asda boss Burnley said: “Meg brings a wealth of experience to this role from her time at KFC, and her combination of creative instinct and experience, customer-centric approach and track record in leading high-performing teams will be a great addition to Asda as we take the next exciting step forward on our journey.

“I am also very grateful for all Preyash has delivered over the last year – stepping across to support the customer team as well as his role as chief strategy officer. I look forward to his continued contribution when he returns to [the strategy role] as part of our leadership team.”

Farren added: “It is a real privilege to lead the customer team of such an iconic British brand that not only has such a rich heritage but also deep roots in its communities and a place in the heart of most British households. I am looking forward to a big challenge and the chance to do epic things with a wonderful group of people.”

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