Hilton taps former Uber, Microsoft marketer as SVP, chief marketing officer

The Hilton San Diego Bayfront

Hilton appointed Kellyn Smith Kenny to the role of SVP and chief marketing officer. Effective Jan. 29, 2018, Kenny will oversee the enterprise marketing strategy for hospitality company and its portfolio of 14 brands. She will also lead a team delivering creative marketing programs focusing on building meaningful relationships with guests.

Kellyn Smith Kenny

"The iconic Hilton brand is already recognized globally as the gold standard for hospitality," Jon Witter, Hilton's chief customer officer, said in a statement. "With Kellyn as our new marketing leader, we are excited to embark on the next chapter of our journey to build stronger direct relationships with our guests."

Kenny brings to Hilton cross-industry and strategic marketing expertise developed in consumer, competitive and service-focused executive roles. As VP, marketing at Uber, she led interdisciplinary marketing for the company's most significant markets in the U.S. and Canada. As SVP, marketing at Capital One, Kenny led marketing and brand strategy for the consumer banking division. While at Microsoft, she oversaw consumer-facing and retail marketing efforts in various store, consumer and B2B roles.

Virtual Event

Hotel Optimization Part 3 | January 27, 2021

With 2020 behind us and widespread vaccine distribution on the horizon, the second half of the new year is looking up, but for Q1 (and most likely well into Q2) we’re very much still in the thick of what has undeniably been the lowest point of the pandemic. What can you be doing now to power through and set yourself up for a prosperous 2021 and beyond? Join us at Part 3 of Hotel Optimization – A Virtual Event on January 27 from 10am – 1:05pm ET for expert panels focused on getting you back to profitability.


"Hilton's global brand portfolio and strong sense of purpose truly sets the company apart," Kenny said in a statement. "I am looking forward to being part of the entrepreneurial spirit that drives the success of the business, and am proud to be joining a team of industry-leading marketing professionals. Together, we will bring to life the exceptional experiences being delivered around the world on behalf of Hilton's owners and guests."

Kenny holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and a BA in economics from Colgate University. She will be based in Hilton's global headquarters in McLean, Va., and report directly to Jon Witter.