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.
Despite the pandemic, chains continue to hire top leadership, with On the Border bringing on a CEO and CFO this week. McDonald’s will also promote two human resources executives within its global people team. These leadership changes show that despite uncertain time, chains are still focused on long-term strategies.
Check out additional executive news below:
Panera: During June, the fast casual chain hired Claes Petersson as chief food innovation officer, according to an email sent to Restaurant Dive. He most recently served as chief innovation officer and vice president at Max Burgers in Stockholm. He also served as chief food innovation officer for Pizza Hut, where he led culinary innovation, quality/food safety and nutrition, and worked at Campbell Soup Company in Scandinavia.
McDonald's: Effective July 1, the fast food chain promoted two executives, Melanie Steinbach and Shammara Howell, within its global people team. Melissa Kersey, who served as chief people officer at McDonald’s USA, will depart the company, according to a company announcement.
Steinbach, currently VP and global chief talent officer, will step into the role of SVP and chief people officer of McDonald’s USA. Over the last three years, Steinbach redesigned the company’s talent management strategy and deployed it globally. She also worked as chief human resources officer at McDonald’s and has 15 years of experience in global search firms.
Howell, who served as senior director, Center HR at McDonald’s, was promoted to VP and global chief talent officer. She will be responsible for talent attraction, organizational design, talent (global functions, U.S. and international), and talent strategy.
On the Border: The casual dining chain named Tim Ward as CEO and Bruce Vermilyea as CFO, both of whom came from QSR The Krystal Co., according to Restaurant Business. Ward previously served as president at the fast food chain while Vermilyea was CFO. Prior to Krystal, Ward worked at Captain D’s and Arby’s. Vermilyea previously served 18 years at Qdoba.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Seth Freeman stepped down from his position as CMO at the company after nearly two years at the full-service chain. No reason was given for his departure. Freeman joined the company six months after it was acquired by Inspire Brands in 2018, led several aggressive social media strategies and brought back offers like buy-one, get-one deals that were not allowed under prior management.