Shift Change: Smoothie King, Church's Chicken hire CMOs; Bojangles' top marketing leader to retire
This Restaurant Dive series highlights the latest executive changes across multiple chains as they plan their growth strategies for the year.
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
Marketing efforts remain a big focus among restaurants, with Church's Chicken and Smoothie King both hiring new CMOs, especially as companies push for better brand awareness.
Check out the latest new hires and promotions below:
Starbucks: Jill L. Walker was promoted to senior vice president, corporate financial services and chief accounting officer, according to an SEC filing. She will serve as the company's principal accounting officer. She has worked at the company since 2000.
Stoner's Pizza Joint: Glenn Cybulski has joined the company as president and chief culinary officer. Cybulksi, who has over 25 years of experience and is a certified Italian pizzaiolo, will oversee the company’s culinary operations and provide expertise in recipe and product development, operational systems and menu design as part of the company’s nationwide expansion. He previously worked at Pieology.
Dog Haus: Stacy Soderstrom has been hired as the chain’s director of franchise development and will help the brand double its 30 locations by the end of the year. Soderstrom has 16 years of franchise industry experience and has worked for brands like KFC and Quizno's. She will focus on franchise recruitment.
Church's Chicken: Brian Gies has been named executive vice president and global chief marketing officer. He will lead the chicken brand’s marketing efforts as it expands into worldwide markets and be responsible for the company’s new domestic marketing approach. He has previously worked at TGI Fridays and Burger King.
Famous Dave's: The chain appointed David L. Kanen as non-executive chairman of the board. Kanen, who joined the board in October, has experience in strategic development and value creation for small companies, CEO Jeff Crivello said in a statement. He has a background as an investment advisor.
Bojangles': The chain’s senior vice president of marketing, Randy Poindexter, will retire Aug. 1 after serving nearly 30 years at the company. The company has hired Elliot and Associates to help in a national search for a new CMO.
Smoothie King: Rebecca Miller, who previously worked at On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, has become the company's CMO. In her new role, she will help support the company’s expansion plans and its upcoming rebrand under its Clean Blends initiative, which is the company’s push to make smoothies more nutritious with more fruits and vegetables; no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and zero grams of added sugar.
KFC: Staci Rawls has become the fast food chain's first chief communications officer and will oversee development of KFC's overall business narrative and lead external and internal communications, such as public relations, crisis and issues management, public affairs social purpose efforts. She has worked at KFC U.S. for the past four years leading communications efforts.
Biggby Coffee: Lisa Oak, formerly a Subway vice president, has been hired as chief development officer. She will help the company grow its brand, with a goal of adding 50 stores by the end of the year. Oak has extensive experience in growing franchise businesses, working at Subway for nearly 30 years and helping it grow from 700 units to 43,000.
Wingstop: Kate S. Lavelle has been appointed to the board of directors as a new independent director. Wingstop's board has now has eight members. She most recently served on the Sonic Corp. board and also held positions at Dunkin' Brands.
Bloomin' Brands: Effective April 1, CEO Liz Smith will step down as CEO, and David Deno, currently chief financial administrative officer, will becoming CEO and a director of the company. Liz Smith will serve as executive chairman of the board. Christopher Meyer, currently group vice president of financial planning and analysis, will become executive vice president and CFO.
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