Marisa Thalberg

Forbes CMO Hall of Fame Marketer; C-Suite Executive at United Parks & Resorts, Lowe’s, Taco Bell, and The Estee Lauder Companies
Marisa Thalberg in a colorful dress, smiling at the camera
  • Multi-industry C-Suite executive renowned for her authenticity as a leader and creative approach to innovating global brands
  • An inductee into Forbes’ CMO Hall of Fame who is frequently called upon to share her insights with leading media outlets
  • Draws upon her own experiences to reveal how leaders can spark innovation within their organizations to drive change outside of it
  • A vocal advocate for elevating women at work who has shared her insights on the matter with TODAY, FOX, CNN, NBC, and more

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A globally recognized brand-building innovator and a champion both of creativity and challenging the status quo in the workplace, Marisa Thalberg is 1 of only 18 to be inducted into the Forbes CMO Hall of Fame. She is considered one of the most dynamic and versatile marketing executives in the field, displaying versatility and adaptability that has led to her being an exceedingly successful leader in a diverse portfolio of industries, ranging from luxury beauty (The Estée Lauder Companies) and fast food (Taco Bell) to big box retail (Lowe’s Home Improvement) and theme parks and entertainment (SeaWorld/Busch Gardens). Her passionate advocacy for women at work led her on the path to social entrepreneurship as the founder of Executive Moms, an organization created to connect and support accomplished women who are both professionals and moms. In this capacity, Thalberg became an early leading voice and supporter for women, and particularly mothers, in the workplace, appearing across a range of media outlets including The TODAY Show, FOX, CNN, NBC News, and many more.

Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Thalberg is a magnetic presence on stage who effortlessly connects with audiences through amusing anecdotes from her experiences as a big brand leader, and unique perspectives on navigating the modern business landscape. Thalberg introduces audiences to the type of leadership that utilizes creativity and authenticity to breed innovation, foster collaboration, and drive change that emanates from within the organization and into industries and society. Her insights prepare audience members for the challenges they are sure to face as leaders — including weathering the storm, evolving their businesses, building brands that customers love, and creating cultures that embrace change, challenge convention, take smart risks, and outpace the competition by a landslide.

A pioneer of digital, social, and eCommerce marketing, she has orchestrated blockbuster product launches (like Taco Bell’s Nacho Fries — the most successful product launch in its history), unexpected cultural moments (like Lowe’s x NY Fashion Week, The Taco Bell Hotel) and is known for inspiring teams to take brands to new heights of consumer resonance, cultural relevance, and business performance. In her current role, she is the chief marketing officer and communications officer at United Parks & Resorts, where she leads marketing and communications for a portfolio of leading theme parks and resorts, including Busch Gardens.

Thalberg appeared on the primetime USA Network show America’s Big Deal as a judge and is currently the co-host of the fast-growing podcast Brand New, which is known for its lively conversations around hot topics spanning media, marketing, advertising, entertainment, and technology — and is produced within the iHeartMedia Podcast network.

A five-time honoree on Forbes’ “World’s Most Influential CMOs” list, Thalberg also has been named “one of the most innovative CMOs in the world” by Business Insider. She was also named one of the 2021 Matrix Award Honorees for Women in Communications and one of Adweek’s 2021 CMO honorees for “perfecting the pandemic pivot.” At the end of 2020, Industry Dive singled her out as the 2020 Marketing Executive of the Year. Among her many other honors, she has been named a Power Player by the National Retail Federation, a Working Mother of the Year, an Adweek Brand Genius, and the She Runs It 2017 Woman of the Year. Thalberg currently serves on the boards of the Blumenthal Center of the Arts and the Mobile Marketing Association.

A catalyst for transformation in the workplace and society, Thalberg remains dedicated to guiding organizations and individuals towards greater success and significance in an ever-evolving world.

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Speaker Video

Marisa Thalberg, Taco Bell, on The Next $50 Billion and Brand Storytelling

Leading in the Digital Age

Some Truths (and a Dare) About Modern Leadership. As a seasoned big brand leader whose influence has been felt across varying plethora of industries, Marisa Thalberg offers hard-won lessons for how leaders can drive tangible change and transform siloed teams into one well-oiled machine that is positioned to do big business. In this talk, she draws upon her experiences as a C-suite executive for the likes of Lowe’s, Taco Bell, and the Estee Lauder Companies to address themes such as collaboration and innovation while revealing a surprising, yet often overlooked, factor that is often the single biggest accelerant for achieving desired business outcomes.  

Channeling Creativity as a Leader. Universally regarded as one of the world’s most influential CMOs, Marisa Thalberg is renowned for her ability to channel creativity as a means for developing solutions to the challenges her teams faced when leading at Lowe’s, Taco Bell, and Estee Lauder. She is a believer that true growth in business and within organizations is not just the province of “the creative people,” but rather an aspect of business that everyone should be empowered to embrace. Through captivating anecdotes, Thalberg shares inspiring real-world examples of creativity solving problems, and also illustrates how creativity not only addresses business challenges, but also cultivates authenticity and trust within teams and fuels success for every facet of the company.  

Never Waste a Good Crisis: How to Transform and Thrive in Turbulent Times. When Marisa Thalberg was hired as the first EVP of marketing in the history of big box home improvement when she joined Lowe’s in February 2020, it was unforeseeable that the “blank slate” canvas she took on would swiftly turn into a dynamic landscape of disruption and opportunity as the world shifted its focus to the concept of home like never before. Reflecting upon her experiences navigating her people through the most tumultuous headwinds in recent times, Thalberg shares universally resonant messages on leading teams through change, taking the right smart risks, and embracing the mindset of “never wasting a good crisis” in order to thrive in the midst of disruption and harness unforeseen circumstances as catalysts for ingenuity and growth.   

A New Vision for Women at Work. Marisa Thalberg was the head of global advertising for the luxury arm of Unilever when she became a mother for the first time in December 2000. Shocked by the lack of resources and support for women like herself, even in the bastion of work that is New York City, she was moved to turn this newfound passion into purpose and impact, which resulted in her founding the organization Executive Moms. In driving content and community for accomplished women with both careers and children — all while continuing to move up the corporate ladder herself — Thalberg became a leading national voice on this massive and powerful, yet still under-appreciated audience that is both critical in the workforce, and as consumers. In this talk, Thalberg shares a combination of insights and stories about the far-reaching impact of women and how small, but meaningful shifts will go a long way in creating environments that accommodate all women leaders — working mothers included.  

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