Hilton’s Marketing Head Departs Amid Workforce Reduction

George PaulExecutive Moves

Editorial credit: josefkubes / Shutterstock.com

Hilton Worldwide’s Chief Marketing Officer Kellyn Smith Kenny announced she is leaving her position at the hotel giant.

Hilton Desktop

As CMO, Smith Kenny focused on growing Hilton's loyalty offerings. She also oversaw several popular ad campaigns that leveraged celebrity ambassadors.

Smith Kenny took on the role as Hilton’s CMO in 2018, after spending two years as Uber's VP of Marketing. She has also led marketing efforts at Capital One and Microsoft.

In her announcement, Smith Kenny stated, “Initially, I was extremely torn over my decision to leave Hilton, but now I’m confident the timing is exactly right for me to move on. The team that will remain has everything Hilton needs to be successful - brilliant customer-centric marketers, #courageousleaders at every level around the globe, and a detailed recovery plan that is already working.”

Smith Kenny’s departure closely follows an announcement by Hilton that it would furlough nearly 2,100 employees, accounting for 22% of its corporate workforce, to cut costs during the coronavirus pandemic.

In reference to the job cuts Hilton CEO and president Christopher Nassetta said, "Never in Hilton's 101-year history has our industry faced a global crisis that brings travel to a virtual standstill. Hospitality will always be a business of people serving people, which is why I am devastated that to protect our business, we have been forced to take actions that directly impact our Team Members."


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