AT&T Communications hires the previous Hilton Exec as its new Chief Advertising and Development Officer

AT&T Communications announced today that it has named Kellyn Smith Kenny as its newly-created Chief Marketing and Growth Officer.

Smith Kenny most recently served as Global CMO at Hilton, a position she held for two years before announcing her retirement from the company in June. Smith Kenny left as the hotel brand grappled with the travel industry's sudden standstill due to Covid-19, and shortly after Hilton laid off nearly 2,100 employees.

While AT&T was not immune to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, Smith Kenny's new role is a linchpin for one of the industries that has proven essential since those first lockdowns in March. With a large portion of the workforce teleworking, communication technology has become an even more important part of everyday life and business.

In the new role, Smith will oversee brand strategy, media strategy and planning, market research and insights, competitive and customer intelligence, creative services and strategic partnerships for AT&T Communications, the company said.

The position was created to adapt to a new structure at AT&T Communications that extends beyond the company's previous role as Chief Brand Officer and supports initiatives in the company's three businesses: AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia and AT&T Latin America. As part of this work, Smith will report to AT&T Inc. Global Marketing Officer and AT&T Latin America CEO Lori Lee.

"Kellyn is a great addition to our executive team and will bring a new perspective and insight into our advertising and marketing efforts as we strive to forge more meaningful connections with a growing customer base," said Jeff McElfresh, CEO of AT&T Communications Adweek.

Prior to Hilton, Smith held senior marketing roles at Uber, Microsoft and Capital One. Her appointment is effective November 16 and will be based in Dallas.

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