This is the latest installment in a series that highlights major executive changes at top fast casual, QSR and casual dining chains over the past week.
Major leadership changes occurred this week, with Smoothie King adding its third executive this year following the addition of a new CMO and a CFO in March, which will help the company's rapid franchise development strategy, while Subway bolstered its brand and innovation team with a promotion and three new hires. Jack in the Box also expanded its board to 11 members. These strategic hires could have long-term impacts on growth and marketing strategies as restaurants focus on the second half of the year.
Check out additional executive changes below:
Red Robin: Cyrus Kelley, formerly of Darden Restaurants, has been hired as vice president of consumer insights and loyalty, interim CEO Pattye Moore told investors during the Q1 2019 earnings call. Kelley and his team will work to enhance the company's data and insights, Moore said.
Subway: Len Van Popering has been promoted to chief brand and innovation officer from his position as vice president of brand management and culinary innovation, according to a press release. In his new role, he will oversee teams associated with global brand strategy, culinary and broader innovation, convenience programs such as catering and delivery, and design and packaging.
The sandwich chain also made Marie Silloway vice president of brand management, Renee Hourigan director of convenience innovation and Chef Ciaran Duffy senior corporate executive chef as part of its brand and innovation team. Silloway previously worked at Godiva, Starbucks China And Estee Lauder, and she will be the chain's global brand management leader and guide the brand's center of design excellence, global packaging functions and convenience strategies. Hourigan, who most recently served at Victorinox Swiss Army, will be responsible for building Subway's delivery program among other initiatives.
Tijuana Flats: The chain’s parent company, Tijuana Flats Restaurants LLC, has hired three executives, according to Nation's Restaurant News. Brian Wright will become the company's CEO succeeding Rick Van Warner, who will continue to serve on the company’s board. Wright was formerly CEO and board member at Bertucci's Italian Restaurant. Louie Psallidas is the company’s new CFO after his position as CEO and president of Uno Restaurant Holdings. Tijuana Flats also hired Steve Culbert as senior vice president of operations. He previously worked with Carrabba's and Au Bon Pain.
Smoothie King: Chris Andrews has been named chief information officer, becoming the third new executive to john the smoothie chain's executive team this year. He previously served as CIO at Pei Wei Asian Diner and has also held roles at On The Border Mexican Grill and Cantina and CEC Entertainment. In his new role, Andrews will manage the overall design and execution of the chain's IT strategy and development of the franchise's digital infrastructure. His goal is to ease the transaction process and create more avenues for guests to interact with the company.
Jack in the Box: The QSR chain has added two new board members as part of its cooperation agreement with JANA Partners, according to a press release. Jean M. Birch and John P. Gainor have been appointed as independent directors, bringing the restaurant’s board to 11 members. Birch brings three decades of experience and most recently served on Papa Murphy’s board and briefly held the position of interim president and CEO at the pizza chain. She also worked at IHOP, Romano's, Corner Bakery and YUM Brands. Gainor has four decades of experience and served as CEO for 9 years at International Dairy Queen until his retirement in December 2017.
Golden Chick: Jim Stevens has been hired as president of Golden Tree Restaurants’ Golden Chick division, according to Nation’s Restaurant News. He will succeed Mark Parmerlee, who will remain as chairman and president of the parent company. Stevens, a franchisee of five Golden Chick sites, most recently served as president of Yoshinoya America and has held executive positions at Arby's, Captain D's and Checker's Drive Ins.