As the Chief Communications Officer of the third-largest food and beverage company in North America, and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, Kathy Krenger certainly has a full plate.
Krenger stepped up into her new CCO role for The Kraft Heinz Company in July 2021, bringing to the role more than 25 years of corporate and agency experience. Reporting directly to CEO Miguel Patricio, she is the company’s primary media spokesperson, leading both internal and external global communications.
Krenger, who earned her Bachelor of Arts in communications and art from Indiana University in Bloomington, was hired away from the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, a company where she spent over five years. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of global communications, where she led corporate, internal, brand, and field communications for the company and more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. But her time with the hotel chain was not without its bumps in the road. In early 2021, Krenger found herself fighting several battles on behalf of Hyatt Hotels, as the company found itself at the center of a political storm following the January 6th insurrection.
Nor was that Krenger's first taste of crises management in the public sphere. Prior to her time at Hyatt, she spent more than 17 years at public relations firm Edelman. During this time, she provided her global clients with deep expertise in a wide range of areas — from strategy to insights and analytics — across fields such as tourism, consumer packaged goods, retail, and food. While at Edelman, she created two crisis communications marketing agencies that served clients such as Kellogg, Nestle, Darden Restaurants, Jim Beam brands, and Unilever.
On top of that, she also served as a public relations director at Burson-Marsteller, where she led global brand marketing communications for McDonald’s, Six Flags, and Ticketmaster, among many others.
Notably, the timing of Krenger's 2021 appointment at Kraft Heinz was critical, as the food giant has recently been focusing on renovating its brands — which include Oscar Mayer, Velveeta, and Maxwell House — in a concerted effort to maintain its mass appeal in the markets. And so, with 2021 net sales of approximately $26 billion, there is going to be plenty to talk about at Kraft Heinz as it moves forward.