Papa John’s lures Pizza Hut marketer

Pizza Hut director of retail marketing Simon Wallis has left the company to join rival pizza chain, Papa John’s. It is not known what role he will take.

Wallis has already left Pizza Hut and is on gardening leave. It is not clear if Pizza Hut plans to replace him or if his responsibilities will be taken on by chief marketing officer Hugh Wood.

Wallis joined Pizza Hut in November 2003 from sister brand KFC, where he was marketing manager (MW November 8, 2003). He was immediately charged with heading the chain’s marketing strategy after then marketing director, James O’Reilly, left to join KFC USA (MW November 13, 2003).

Pizza Hut later appointed former Safeway marketing chief Martin Pugh to the role (MW May 27, 2004). Pugh left after just a year. It was thought that Wallis would take over the marketing director role after Pugh’s departure, but Wood was later appointed.

Papa John’s is the third largest pizza company in the US but it has so far failed to make an impact in the UK. It has about 87 UK stores but is planning to open 250 over the next five years through franchise deals and owned stores.

Earlier this year, Papa John’s appointed Ian Saunders as managing director. He replaced Daneil Cousineau, who left the company to pursue other interests. Saunders has also held roles at KFC and Pizza Hut.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here