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.
Subway brought on a permanent CEO after more than a year-long search while Blaze Pizza made interim CEO Mandy Shaw permanent this week. Several restaurant brands have brought on new CEOs this year, notably McDonald's sudden change following Steve Easterbrook's firing. Red Robin, Panera and Sizzler also have new CEOs while Yum Brands will start 2020 with David Gibbs at the helm following Greg Creed's retirement.
Check out additional leadership news below:
The Krystal Company: Tim Ward joins the company in the newly created position of president and chief operating officer while Bruce Vermilyea becomes the brand’s chief financial officer, according to a press release. Ward previously worked at Captain D’s, where he served as chief operating officer. Vermilyea served 18 years with Qdoba Restaurant Corporation, which included three years as CFO. Paul Macaluso, president and CEO, and Berry Epley, previous CFO, have left the company for other opportunities.
Subway: The sandwich chain hires John Chidsey as its CEO, a position that has not had a permanent executive since last summer after Suzanne Greco retired. Chidsey's prior positions include chairman and CEO of Burger King Holdings and president and chief financial officer at Burger King.
CKE Restaurants: The parent company of Carl's Jr. and Hardee's appointed Chad Crawford as chief brand officer, according to a press release. Crawford has over 20 years of experience in the QSR segment, holding positions at KFC, Burger King and Denny's before he worked at Popeyes for eight years. During his time at Popeyes he held several leadership roles, including calendar strategy, marketing impact, guest experience, chief marketing officer and president of North America. In his new role, he will oversee brand marketing vision and strategy to deliver memorable campaigns, compelling menus and sustainable profitable growth for the system.
Just Salad: Stefan Boyd joins the fast casual chain as chief financial officer. He previously served as CEO at Noon Mediterranean and as CFO at Le Pain Quotidien, according to Restaurant Business. In his new position, he will oversee expansion of the 40-unit chain into new and existing markets.
Blaze Pizza: The fast casual pizza chain promoted Mandy Shaw, who has served as interim CEO since August following Jim Mizes' retirement, to president and CEO, according to Restaurant Business. She has been working at the company since 2018 and was previously chief financial officer.
Women's Foodservice Forum: Therese Gearhart is the organization's CEO and president, succeeding Hattie Hill, who retired earlier this year, according to Nation's Restaurant News. Gearhart has worked at Coca-Cola for 20 years, where she has overseen Latin American and Southern Africa business. Denny Marie Post, former Red Robin CEO, assumed the role of the organization’s CEO while it searched for Hill’s replacement and will stay on as a board member.