Kathy Krenger | Influence 100

Kathy Krenger  

Chief Communications Officer
Kraft Heinz 



Kraft Heinz hired Kathy Krenger as its new chief communications officer earlier this year, replacing Michael Mullen, who retires this summer after 23 years with the company. Krenger, who prior to joining Kraft Heinz was SVP of global communications at Hyatt Hotels for four years, reports directly to CEO Miguel Patricio. 

She steps into the role as Kraft Heinz is focusing on “renovating” some of its key brands, including Oscar Mayer, Velveeta and Maxwell House. The company will have renovated 45% of its US portfolio by the end of 2021 and 90% next year.

Krenger brings to the role more than 25 years of corporate and agency experience. At Hyatt, she led corporate, internal, brand and field communications for the company and more than 1,000 hotels worldwide. This past year, Krenger fought several battles on behalf of Hyatt Hotels as the company found itself at the center of political crossfire during the January 6 insurrection and for hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference after the event’s stage was compared to a Nazi symbol.

Before Hyatt, Krenger served as general manager at two Edelman specialty agencies: Edible, which focuses on food and beverage clients, and Krispr, which handled PR for Kellogg's before the account moved to Weber Shandwick in 2019.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
During the pandemic, the marketing budget at Hyatt was zero so PR had to drive promotions and offers. The Work From Hyatt initiative generated significant revenue during a time when people were challenged working in their homes.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Challenges will be hiring, recruitment, staffing with the best of the best. Opportunities will be guiding companies back into a growth mindset.

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?
The counsel and support through the hardest years of my life.

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
Cancel culture assumptions.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Blocking time on my calendar for self care.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
The Headspace and Calm apps.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
An artist or curator of art.

Sum up 2021 in one word.