Marisa Thalberg

Global Chief Brand Officer, Taco Bell (Former)

A globally recognized business strategist and brand-building innovator,
Marisa is known for inspiring teams to take brands to new heights of consumer resonance, cultural relevance, and business performance. Throughout her career, A pioneer of digital, social and eCommerce marketing, she has orchestrated blockbuster product launches, unexpected cultural moments, and has moved with uncommon ease between industries like beauty and QSR, retail and CPG, brand and performance marketing, mass and prestige.

As Global Chief Brand Officer at Taco Bell, Marisa achieved category-beating same store sales growth every quarter, overtaking Burger King, Wendy’s, and Subway in restaurant traffic and capturing the highest passion index among fans of any QSR brand. She elevated store marketing across Taco Bell’s 7,000 units and transformed the digital business, doubling those channels’ sales and tripling the customer database in one year. She created an incremental $1 billion+ in new business layers with retail and licensed merchandise, delivery and group occasions. Marisa’s vision to evolve Taco Bell into a lifestyle brand was behind her conception of some of the most talked-about initiatives in the industry and beyond, from Taco Bell x Forever 21, Taco Bell Weddings, and The Taco Bell Hotel, reservations for which sold out in two minutes.

Before joining Taco Bell, Marisa spent eight years at The Estee Lauder Companies (ELC), where she became the company’s first corporate marketing executive, building the company’s eCommerce marketing, digital and social marketing and new consumer engagement across its 30+ prestige brands across the world, propelling ELC to the highest “digital IQ” ranking of any global beauty company.

Marisa’s earlier career spanned the client and agency worlds, including serving in global advertising and brand strategy roles with Unilever Cosmetics International and Revlon and in account management roles with J. Walter Thompson and Saatchi and Saatchi.

Marisa has been named one of the World’s 50 most Influential CMOs by Forbes in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and well as one of the top 25 most Innovative CMOs by Business Insider. Among her many other honors, she has been named a Power Player by the National Retail Federation, a Restaurant Business Power Player and an Adweek Brand Genius.

In 2002, Marisa founded Executive Moms (www.executivemoms.com), an organization created to connect and support accomplished women who are both professionals and moms. She currently serves on the boards of the International Women’s Media Foundation and the Orange County School of the Arts and on the Business Leadership Committee of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

My Sessions

Free Agent: From Beauty to the Bell – The Journey of a Rockstar CMO

Just this year, Marisa Thalberg was named as one of “The Most Innovative CMOs in the World” by Business Insider. From beauty at Revlon, Unilever, and Estee Lauder, to Global Chief Brand Officer at Taco Bell, Marisa has lead marketing on both coasts and made extraordinary discoveries on her journey to the top.    In […]