This is the first installment in a series that will highlight major executive changes at top fast casual, QSR and casual dining chains over the past week.
The new year has ushered in several high-level leadership shake-ups across multiple brands as many prepare for rapid expansion or switch gears to try and improve slumping sales.
Subway: The sandwich chain's vice president James Walker left the company on Jan. 18, just weeks after its chief marketing officer Joe Tripodi resigned and months after CEO Suzanne Greco stepped down, signaling ongoing struggles at the beleaguered company.
Caribou Coffee: John Butcher, the company's current president, took on the additional role of CEO following Sarah Spiegel’s departure for personal reasons.
Jamba Juice: Months after its acquisition by Focus Brands, the juice chain made major executive changes on Tuesday. Geoff Henry, a Coca-Cola veteran, joins the company as president. The chain also named Shivram Vaideeswaran, formerly at Blaze Pizza, as chief marketing officer and Jaime Denney as vice president of operations.
Restaurant Brands International: Burger King's parent company shuffled several executives on Wednesday as it shifts its strategy to focus on more global growth. Long-time Burger King executive Jose Cil is now the holding company’s CEO, while former CEO Daniel Schwartz serves as executive chairman and co-chairman to the chain's board of directors. Josh Kobza was promoted to chief operating officer after serving as chief financial officer and chief technology and development officer.
Papa John's: The pizza chain hired Marvin Boakye on Wednesday to serve as the struggling pizza chain’s first chief people officer. Boakye will help implement the company’s talent management strategy, which includes overseeing people operations, compensation and benefits and learning and development.
Tropical Smoothie: On Thursday, Charles Watson, who has been chief development officer since 2015, was named the smoothie chain's new CEO after months of serving as interim CEO. He has been with the company for more than 10 years and is responsible for selling 800 units, according to Restaurant Business. As CEO, he will help oversee the company’s rapid expansion plans, which Tropical Smoothie expects to double unit count to 1,500 in five years and reach more than $1 billion in sales.