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Biography

Kellogg School of Management
Clinical Professor of Executive Education

Eric Leininger joined the Kellogg School faculty full time in September 2010, coming from McDonald's Corporation, where he was corporate senior vice president since 2004. He has been an affiliated faculty member since 1997.

With Professor Gregory Carpenter, Eric leads The Kellogg Chief Marketing Officer Program. This by-invitation-only program was the first university-based development experience for newly appointed and rising Chief Marketing Officers. The program has attracted attendees from leading organizations, including AT&T, Cisco, Colgate-Palmolive, Discover, GE, General Motors, Hyatt, IBM, Intel, John Deere, McDonald's, Motorola Solutions, Sargento, SAP, SC Johnson, Textron, and The Cleveland Clinic. Eric and Professor Carpenter also lead Kellogg's annual Marketing Leadership Summit in partnership with McKinsey and Egon Zehnder.

His MBA teaching has included Global Marketing, and Marketing of New Products and Services. Eric is a regular contributor to Kellogg's executive programs, such as "Kellogg on Branding," "The Customer-Focused Organization," and "Leading with Big Data and Analytics." He also leads custom executive education programs for a diverse group of companies, including Abbott Labs, Abbvie, Chevrolet, The Coca-Cola Company, Hyatt, John Deere and SC Johnson.

Eric was a member of McDonald's Senior Leadership Team, comprised of the business unit leaders and the global, C-suite functional leaders. His primary responsibility was consumer and business insights: additionally, he was the executive sponsor for McDonald's marketing training.

Eric joined McDonald's from Kraft Foods, where he held a variety of marketing services and information positions for 11 years, including senior vice-president of marketing services. Prior to Kraft, Eric held leadership positions at AC Nielsen and Quaker Oats.

A wide range of companies draw on Eric's expertise in building leading-edge consumer insights and marketing capabilities. Recent consulting assignments include Abbvie, ABInBev, HAVI Global Solutions, Kimberly-Clark, Mattel, Merck Consumer Care, Ulta, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon.

Eric received his MBA from the University of Michigan, where he was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. He also holds a MA from the University of Virginia and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, cum laude. 

Areas of Expertise International Marketing
Marketing Research
Marketing Strategy
Measurement Techniques
New Product Development

Education M.B.A., 1981, Marketing, Organization Strategy, Analytics, University of Michigan, Beta Gamma Sigma

M.A., 1977, History, University of Virginia

B.A., 1975, American Civilization , University of Pennsylvania, cum laude

Academic Positions Clinical Professor of Executive Education, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2016-present

Clinical Associate Professor of Executive Education, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2014-2016

Clinical Associate Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University, 2012-2014

Other Professional Experience Corporate Senior Vice-President, McDonald’s Corporation, 2004-2010

Vice-President, 1996-2000

Sr. Director, Kraft Foods, 1993-1996

Senior Vice-President, 1990-2004

Vice-President, ACNielsen, 1990-1993

various positions to Sr. Director, 1981-1990

Education Academic Positions Other Professional Experience

Read about executive education

Cases

Hennessy, Julie, Eric Leininger and Evan Meagher. 2012. Global Brand Management: Best Practices and Learnings from Efforts to Build the Business “Over There”. Case 7-411-750 (KEL696).

This technical note discusses learnings from organizations facing the challenges of managing brands across global geography. It talks about best practices for balancing the competing needs for local relevance and global consistency and scales.

Hennessy, Julie, Eric Leininger and Evan Meagher. 2012. Global Brand Management: Best Practices and Learnings from Efforts to Build the Business “Over There”. Case 7-411-750 (KEL696).

This technical note discusses learnings from organizations facing the challenges of managing brands across global geography. It talks about best practices for balancing the competing needs for local relevance and global consistency and scales.

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