Inspire Brands has new leadership across Sonic, Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings, all of which are promotions of existing employees, the company said Wednesday. Check out the new executives.
Sonic president Claudia San Pedro resigns
After about five years in the top role at the hamburger chain, Claudia San Pedro left her role as brand president of Sonic and the workplace to deal with family medical matters, Inspire said. She has been with Sonic since 2006, rising through the ranks until she reached brand president in 2018. Under her leadership, Sonic grew average unit volumes by over 30%.
Jim Taylor, president at Arby’s, will move into the role of president at Sonic. Taylor has been with Arby’s for nearly nine years, starting with his role as head of product development. He also served as CMO before becoming president, the company said. During his nine years at Arby’s, the company had nine consecutive years of positive same-store sales and record unit-level economics.
“Through innovative new products and marketing campaigns, including We Have the Meats and award-winning brand activations, such as Wagyu Burger, Diablo Dare, and the introduction of Arby’s venison, Jim has created a distinct brand persona that has kept Arby’s at the top of culture,” the company said.
Arby’s promotes CMO to president
CMO Rita Patel, who joined Inspire in 2020 as Buffalo Wild Wings CMO, was named Arby’s brand president following Taylor’s move to Sonic. She became CMO at Arby’s in 2022. During her two years at Buffalo Wild Wings, she was instrumental in “establishing integrated ways of working between marketing, supply chain, and Buffalo Wild Wings franchisees,” the company said. She helped BWW launch new menu items like Wild Burger, Boneless Bar Pizza, Bird Dawgs and Saucy Chicken. Prior to Inspire, Patel worked as VP of brand management at Target and also held roles at Beam Suntory, MillersCoors and Wrigley.
Following Patel’s transition, Ellen Rose was promoted to CMO at Arby’s from her position of VP of strategic growth initiatives. Rose has been with Arby’s for about 10 years in various marketing leadership roles.
Buffalo Wild Wings promotes COO to president
John Bowie moved into the role of brand president after serving as COO for over five years, according to his LinkedIn profile. In his new role, he will continue to oversee franchise operations for both Buffalo Wild Wings and BWW Go, the company’s off-premise store format. Prior to BWW, Bowie served as Arby’s COO from 2013 to 2018, when Arby’s was a standalone brand.