Partner, Brand Strategist & Interim CMO
Karen Lithgow is a senior consultant and global marketing executive with a distinguished track record of innovating and transforming world class brands and businesses within various sectors, including technology, financial services, entertainment, retail, education and consumer packaged goods. She is a strategist that revitalizes brands in the digital age.
Karen has significant segment marketing expertise, including US Hispanic and multicultural and is regarded for her ability to identify emerging opportunities internationally having held global roles for much of her career. She is an enterprising leader with proven success in concept-to-execution and business turnaround.
Karen has held the role of Chief Brand and Marketing Officer and has worked with B2C and B2B firms ranging from Fortune 100-to mid-market fast growth-to startups, and has led teams domestically and internationally, through acquisitions and spin-offs. As a consultant, she has helped clients with organizational design, team collaboration, talent sourcing and culture development in addition to marketing and brand innovation. As a corporate executive, she most recently was Head of Marketing/SVP/CMO for Kaplan Higher Education, where she led her team through the creation of a new brand between two institutions with different business models (online and offline), creating a unique offering as a result of a pending acquisition while at the same time, stabilizing a declining business. At the ADT Corporation, a leading provider of automation solutions, Karen was SVP, Corporate Marketing where she led all of ADT’s integrated digital and traditional marketing, managing a budget of $180M as well as the repositioning of the brand. She led a team responsible for driving demand and conversion of over 1 million leads, engagement and retention of millions of subscribers, and optimizing performance across digital ecosystems and integrated campaigns.
At Western Union, where she held many leadership roles, as VP & General Manager, International Remittance Business (US Outbound), she directed the company’s largest business, managing P&Ls up to $800M in revenue, introducing the brand and new products to new global markets. She successfully led a team of senior professionals with international responsibility, and developed Western Union’s multicultural marketing organization, acquiring and retaining more than 10 million consumers across all channels.
Earlier in her career, Karen held management roles at Fortune 100 companies such as The Walt Disney Company and Procter & Gamble (P&G). After joining Disney, Karen provided strategic marketing direction and plans for regional offices and Disney licensees in Latin America and was part of a select global taskforce that developed the worldwide branding strategy for Disney Consumer Products. At P&G, she received her initial brand marketing training and managed brands in diverse categories for various global markets.
Karen earned a Master of Science degree in international business from Georgetown University, and graduated with honors, cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Arts. She serves on the Board of Directors for several non-profit organizations, advocating for diversity and the promotion of women and girls, and is bilingual in Spanish and English.