Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. chief marketing officer Russ Klein has resigned, according to a company statement released Monday.

Klein was named chief marketing officer for the Atlanta-based company in January 2012. Previously, he had served six years as a top marketer at Burger King, a job from which he resigned in 2009.

“I’m very proud of the work we’ve done,” Klein said in a statement. “Today, Arby’s has a deep pipeline of products backed by creative advertising that’s been driving sales at the store level.”

According to the statement, Klein was instrumental in introducing new menu items and developing advertising campaigns and brand positioning at Arby’s.

“Since joining us early last year, Russ led the revitalization of our marketing program and contributed to excellent business results,” said Jon Luther, Chairman at Arby’s, in a statement.

As of Monday morning, the company did not give a specific reason for Klein’s resignation.

Klein told Nation’s Restaurant News that he noted a similarity between his time at Burger King and his time at Arby’s: executive turnover. “That lead to a lot of false starts and a lack of ability to go deep on strategies,” he said. “You have to see it through. Sometimes [results] don’t come in the first 12 months or the first 24 months.

“I don’t mean to be immodest, but I don’t think there’s much more that I can do as a CMO than the body of work I’ve laid down in the past years,” he continued, adding that a teaching job at a university might be the next step in his career. “I’ve had success everywhere I’ve been. I feel like that’s a good place to pivot from.”

Klein also spoke with Nation’s Restaurant News last month. During the interview, Klein struck a hopeful tone about his future at Arby’s.

“There’s a palette for innovation and an opportunity for us to occupy a marketplace that’s in line with what consumers want: fresh food that they crave,” he said at the time. “It’s a very exciting prospect to be involved in transforming a brand like Arby’s.”

Arby’s has more than 3,400 restaurants systemwide and is owned by Atlanta-based private-equity firm Roark Capital Group.

Contact Erin Dostal at erin.dostal@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @ErinDostal