Papa John’s International Inc. has hired Bob Kraut as its senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Most recently, Kraut was senior vice president of brand marketing and advertising at Arby’s Restaurant Group. He replaces Andrew Varga, who resigned as CMO in March to become president of the pizza chain’s agency of record, Zimmerman Advertising in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Kraut will report to Tony Thompson, Papa John’s president and chief operating officer.

“We are excited to welcome Bob to Papa John’s,” Thompson said in a statement. “Bob has significant restaurant industry experience and has proven himself a progressive marketing executive. I am confident in his ability to move the brand forward and to help Papa John’s to continue to gain market share.”


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Kraut also has experience in the pizza segment of the restaurant industry; he served as vice president of marketing communications for Pizza Hut prior to joining Arby’s. He also previously held marketing and advertising positions with General Motors.

Papa John’s officials have repeatedly credited their marketing strategies for contributing to sales growth over the past few years, including the “better ingredients, better pizza” positioning it has built over the long term with commercials starring chain founder John Schnatter. The brand also has served as the official pizza sponsor of the National Football League for the past three seasons and has executed major giveaway promotions during the past three Super Bowls to promote and build up its Papa Rewards loyalty program.

Louisville, Ky.-based Papa John’s operates or franchises approximately 4,300 restaurants in the United States and 35 foreign markets.

Contact Mark Brandau at mark.brandau@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @Mark_from_NRN