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.
Restaurant companies underwent major management restructuring this week with McDonald’s, Papa John’s and Ike’s Love & Sandwiches all revising their senior leadership teams. The firing of McDonald's CEO Steve Easterbrook was largely unexpected, and many analysts have told Restaurant Dive that much remains up in the air about how the chain will look under new chief Chris Kempczinski. Operations will likely remain the same in the short-term, however.
For Ike's, the executive shuffe was meant to better prepare the company for growth. The departure of Papa John's CFO, CMO and the elimination of its chief operating and growth officer position was part of a larger shift in the company that was sparked by John Schnatter's infamous and messy departure.
Check out more executive news below:
Papa John's: The pizza chain streamlined its senior management team and expanded several leadership roles, according to a press release. Max Wetzel has been hired as chief commercial and marketing officer beginning Nov. 18. He will oversee marketing, menu strategy, product innovation, customer experience and a new project management office. Jim Norberg, formerly SVP, Chief of Restaurant Operations was promoted to chief operating officer, North America while Jack Swaysland was named chief operating officer, international. Current CMO Karlin Linhardt and chief operating and growth officer Mike Nettles will leave the company to pursue other opportunities. Papa John's eliminated Nettle's position. Chief financial officer Joe Smith will leave the company in 2020 following fiscal 20109 year-end after nearly 20 years at the company.
McDonald's: The fast food chain fired CEO Steve Easterbrook for engaging in a consensual relationship with an employee. McDonald’s USA president Chris Kempczinksi, who has been with the company since 2015, was immediately promoted to CEO and Joe Erlinger, McDonald’s president of international operated markets, was appointed as McDonald’s USA president. Chief People Officer David Fairhurst also left the company, but a replacement has yet to be named.
Chicken Guy: John Dikos, former SVP of partnerships at MOD Pizza has been hired as chief licensing officer for the brand co-founded by celebrity chef Guy Fieri and restaurateur Robert Earl, according to Fast Casual. Dikos will lead the brand’s nationwide expansion, which will include high-profile end caps, freestanding locations, airports, stadiums and college campuses. The company plans to use a selective partnering program to compliment its company-owned development plan.
Ike’s Love & Sandwiches: The company has restructured its management team and brought on several new hires, including a new CEO and chief marketing officer, according to QSR Magazine. Michael Goldberg is the company’s new CEO and will work alongside founder and president Ike Shehadeh. Goldberg previously worked at Fresh Brothers Pizza for eight years as chief operating officer. The company also appointed Renae Scott as CMO. She previously worked at Togo’s Sandwiches as CMO for seven years. She also worked at Carl's Jr. Additional new hires include Will Coulehan as VP of operations, where he will oversee off-site sales.