Eric Leininger
Eric Leininger

Clinical Professor of Executive Education

Print Overview

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 2007.

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 Cisco, Colgate-Palmolive, Exxon-Mobil, Discover, General Motors, Hyatt, IBM, John Deere, Johnson Controls McDonald’s, Motorola Solutions, NetApp, Sargento, SAP, SC Johnson, and The Cleveland Clinic.

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, Johnson Controls, 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, John Deere, Mattel, Starbucks, Ulta Beauty, U.S. Cellular, and Verizon. Eric is also a strategic advisor to Sense360, an innovative new analytics firm specializing in restaurants and retail. 

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

Print Vita
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

Print Research
Schieffer, Robert and Eric Leininger. 2008. Customers at the Core. Marketing Management.
Leininger, Eric. 2007. Create a Culture of Insights. The Advertiser.
Hennessy, JulieEric 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).

Print Teaching
Executive Education
Chief Diversity Officer Summit

Discuss the latest academic research, practitioner insights and best practices in the area of diversity and inclusion with a select group of cross-sector peers.

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Chief Marketing Officer Program

Master the insights needed to navigate significant challenges faced by CMOs today, by engaging in meaningful discussions with Kellogg's top faculty and industry executives. This program is specifically designed to increase the odds of success for enterprise marketing leaders.

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Kellogg Corporate Governance Conference

Exclusive, by-invitation-only annual conference that brings together more than 200 corporate directors and CEOs to discuss critical issues in corporate governance.

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Kellogg on Branding

Learn from the people who wrote the book on branding how to build and strengthen the power of your brand. Kellogg’s latest thinking combined with hands-on experience will equip you to boost customer loyalty, heighten competitive advantage and increase profitability.

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Leading with Big Data and Analytics: From Insight to Action

Sophisticated subject matter in an easy-to-understand, accessible format equips executives with the working knowledge needed to seize opportunities that business analytics presents, develop a big data strategy and put data analytics to practical use.

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The Customer-Focused Organization: Leading Transformation

The digital revolution is empowering customers, fueling disruptive innovation and globalization of markets. In the wake of these challenges, firms that are customer-centric thrive. Learn how leaders successfully infuse a customer-centric perspective throughout an organization, generate value, build brands with meaning, and offer exceptional customer experiences to win in the digital age.

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