Why Hungryhouse picked a marketer as its new CEO

Hungryhouse has made marketing director Alice Mrongovius its CEO, a decision she said is down to the ‘ownership mentality’ instilled in her through working in marketing.

Mrongovius takes over from Scott Fletcher who held the position since September 2013. He has moved to a senior management role within Delivery Hero Holding.

She joined the brand’s parent company Delivery Hero in 2011 as its seventh employee. It now has more than 2,500 staff. Starting within SEO, she went on to manage the channel for UK and Australian markets, while also coordinating other international SEO teams, including Russia, Mexico, Poland and Brazil.

For the past two years Mrongovius has held the marketing director position for Hungryhouse, where she helped communicate the brand to the UK market by introducing the brand refresh of ‘The easy way to takeaway’. According to figures supplied by the company, the campaign helped increase brand awareness from 53% to 73% over the last 12 months.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Mrongovius said her appointment as CEO was due to her diverse background – but that marketing had an important role to play.

She explained: “I’ve always had a very diverse background, whether it’s tech, communications, entrepreneurship or art and visual communication. My previous role, which was pure marketing, has been based around community management and SEO. Both of these areas are very broad in terms of understanding and implementing product changes, thinking about user intent and having statistical abilities to analyse consumer data.”

Mrongovius also put her career progression down to having an “ownership mentality” in combination with the broad range of skills she developed through her marketing career.

“It’s about applying those skills to problems in the business without seeing boundaries or considering it to be ‘just a marketing topic’. I would frame it as an issue that affects my team’s ability to get results, so you’d go and negotiate with other teams to get the changes that you want, or you’d find the consumer statistics you need to help advocate your case for better content marketing.”

The importance of entrepreneurship

Research from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles released in October shows that British companies are increasingly turning to marketers to fill the top job of CEO. More than a fifth of FTSE 100 CEOs come from a marketing or sales background.

According to Mrongovius, other marketers who are keen to progress need to have a diverse marketing background in combination with strong social skills. She explained: “Having a diverse background and understanding different parts of business is essential. If you work at a tech company, you don’t have to be a programmer but you need to understand how the digital architecture works. You then need to combine that diverse background with great people skills. The unifying factor, however, is entrepreneurship and implementing those skills within an organisation.”

Focusing on customer satisfaction

To ensure the brand continues to stand out in a competitive market place, Hungryhouse’s new CEO is particularly focused on two themes – the customer experience and the company’s restaurant partners.

She concluded: “Hungryhouse has proven that in an extremely competitive space you can still outpace your competitors and grow. We’ll still be focused on growth, but this year we also want to run a fantastic business, so we’ll be focusing on consumer satisfaction and making sure we work with the most relevant restaurants.”