Kimberly A. Whitler

Assistant Professor of Business Administration


FOB 260

Academic Area

Areas of Expertise

Marketing Strategy, Marketing Performance, Brand Management

Education: B.A., Eureka College; MBA, University of Arizona, Eller School of Business; M.S., Ph.D., Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Assistant Professor Kimberly A. Whitler teaches the First Year Marketing core course. Whitler's research area is marketing strategy with a focus on understanding how board and C-level roles, characteristics and decisions impact a firm's marketing performance.

Kimberly A. Whitler is also an advisory board member of Harte Hanks, SSA and Company, and Transparent, a marketing technology and data consultancy. Previously, Whitler spent nearly 20 years in general management, strategy and marketing roles within the consumer packaged goods and retailing industries, managing global, U.S. and eastern European-based businesses. She spent most of her career at Procter & Gamble, and more recently served as the general manager of the Breakfast Division for Aurora Foods, the CMO of David’s Bridal, the country’s leading bridal apparel retailer, and as an officer of PetSmart, the country’s largest pet specialty retailer.

She has published in the Journal of MarketingAcademy of Management JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Advertising Research, Business Horizons, Marketing Science Institute, Journal of International Marketing, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, The Washington PostChief Executive, Directors & Boards, The Conference Board Directors’ Notes, Ad AgeThe CMO Council’s PeerSphere and Chief Marketer. Whitler’s research regarding the impact of marketers on the board of directors won the 2017 Robert D. Buzzell Marketing Science Institute’s Best Paper of the Year Award.    

She has written over 250 articles as a Forbes contributor with her publications having generated over 2,100,000 views. Ranked as a Top Five influencer of CMOs, a Top 10 influencer of tech B2B CMOs, a Top 100 MarTech influencer and noted as a “Favorite Professor of Top MBA Students” in Poets and Quants, she is a regular speaker at C-level conferences, including: San Francisco CEO-CMO Summit, Forbes’ CMO Summit, G2 Coke/McDonald’s Conference, Brand 50 Conference, 11th Annual High-Tech CMO Conference, Atlanta CMO Roundtable, San Francisco Accounting CMO Conference, U.S. Department of Defense, MMA Board Meeting and MSI’s Trustee Meeting, among others.

Whitler has been interviewed, cited or quoted over 1,000 times across a variety of global media outlets, including: The Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal (CFO Journal), Bloomberg, The Washington Post, CBS News,, Yahoo! News, POTUS, Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation, Entrepreneur, Standard Examiner, National Association of Corporate Directors, International Finance News, Ad Age, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Small Business Advisor, The Telegraph (UK), The Conference Board, The Economist Group, Huffington Post, MediaBuzz, Oxygen, and Poets & She attended the U.S. Air Force Academy, received a B.A. in psychology and business administration from Eureka College, an MBA from the University of Arizona, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Indiana University.


Selected Publications

Whitler, Kimberly A., Ryan Krause, and Donald Lehmann (2015), "When and How Does Board-Level Marketing Experience Impact Firm Performance," Marketing Science Institute Working Paper Series, 15-109.

Krause, Ryan, Kimberly A. Whitler, and Matthew Semadeni (2014), "Power to the Principals! An Experimental Look at Shareholder Say-on-Pay Voting," Academy of Management Journal, 57 (1), 94-115.

  • Among AMJ's "Most-read articles" (March 2015)

Krause, Ryan, Kimberly A. Whitler, and Matthew Semadeni (2013), "When do Shareholders Care about CEO Pay?" The Conference Board Directors' Notes, No. DN-V2N16, 1-7.

Lewis, Michael, Kimberly A. Whitler, and JoAndrea Hoegg (2013), "Customer Relationship Stage and the use of Picture-Dominant versus Text-Dominant Advertising: A Field Study," Journal of Retailing, 89 (3), 263-280.

Lewis, Michael, Kimberly A. Whitler, and JoAndrea Hoegg (2009), "No Second Chance to Make a First Impression: A Field Study of Relationship Initiation and Development," Marketing Science Institute Working Paper Series, 4, 09-122.

Whitler, Kimberly A. and (2015), "2015 CMO Impact Study: Executive Summary," 6/1/2016, (accessed at: ExecutiveSummary.pdf).

Whitler, Kimberly A. and The CMO Council (2014), "The CMO Compensation Study," 7/26/2014 (accessed at: CMO Council.

Whitler, Kimberly A. and (2014), "CMO Impact Study: 9 Key Learnings," 3/26/2014. (accessed at:


Case Studies

Advancing knowledge through research that shapes business, Darden professors are recognized thought leaders in their fields. They are not only master case method teachers, they also author many of the cases used in Darden classrooms and around the world.

Kimberly A. Whitler's cases are available in the Darden Business Publishing website.