F. Warren Ellish

F. Warren Ellish

Visiting Senior Lecturer

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Faculty Expertise

  • Marketing
  • Brand Positioning
  • Hospitality and Services Design, Management and Operations
  • Consulting
  • Franchising
  • Services Marketing
  • Food and Beverage Management
  • Advertising


F. Warren Ellish is a senior marketing executive with over 30 years of client and consulting experience. He is a renowned practitioner, lecturer, and speaker on brand positioning and is a member of the marketing faculty at Cornell University's SC Johnson Graduate School of Management. Ellish was named to the Advertising Age "Marketing 100 – the superstars of US marketing." Major accomplishments include the launch of one of America's hottest retail concepts and its subsequent IPO, the turnaround of a flagship consumer product, the positioning of hundreds of well-known brands, the launch of numerous new products and concepts that became successful growth businesses, the revitalizing of many once formidable brands that lost their way to become strong competitors once again, and the development of a long list of programs which have driven profitable increases in customer traffic.

In 1995, Mr. Ellish founded his own company, Ellish Marketing Group, a leading authority on brand positioning and marketing to a wide range of businesses including restaurants, dental practices, retailers, and consumer products companies. Ellish has a successful track record of assisting the senior leadership of highly competitive multi-unit businesses generate high returns on investment based on a strategic focus to drive profitable traffic and product mix. A significant amount of his work has been with start-up, emerging, and turnaround businesses.

Prior to forming his own business, Ellish was a founding partner and vice president of marketing for Boston Chicken, Inc., where he served as a member of the core start-up executive team. While at Boston Chicken (later, Boston Market), he created the foundation for a new brand in a significant new retail category (home meal replacement). Mr. Ellish established branding, positioning (including the repositioning to Boston Market), corporate identity, and all aspects of advertising, promotion and public relations for the brand. During his tenure, store count went from 35 to over 800 stores, with system-wide revenue growing from $35 million to $1 billion.

Ellish has also served as vice president of marketing and a member of the executive committee for Red Lobster Restaurants (then a division of General Mills, Inc.). At Red Lobster he was responsible for the marketing efforts of the nation's largest dinner house restaurant chain and was recognized by General Mills management for his speed and innovation while building sales that outpaced the industry. He also led the company's first multi-functional task force to enhance quality and consumer value, and strengthen Red Lobster's position in the marketplace - resulting in increases in value perception for food quality, service and intent to revisit.

Other experience includes: vice president of marketing for Luzianne Blue Plate Foods (Reily Foods), director of new product marketing and director of marketing for Burger King Corporation (then a division of Pillsbury Co.), director of new products for Johnson & Johnson Baby Products Company, and various marketing positions of increasing responsibility with Frito Lay, Inc. (a division of PepsiCo).

Mr. Ellish received both his BS and MBA from Cornell University. He currently serves on Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration master’s program advisory board and is the founder and host of the annual Cornell Marketing Executive Coaching Program. He has served on the board of directors of Ovation Brands (formerly Buffets, Inc), the nations largest steak-buffet restaurant company and MaggieMoo’s International, a franchise chain of super premium ice cream retail stores.

Academic Degrees

  • BS Cornell University
  • MBA Cornell University, 1978
F. Warren Ellish