Change for the better? - December 18, 2011
Emil Brolick becomes Wendy’s CEO, while the chain’s North American President, David Karam, leaves the corporation to return to fully lead Cedar Enterprises, his 151-unit/six-state Wendy’s franchise company. He will not be replaced – Wendy’s CMO Ken Calwell departs to become President of Papa Murphy’s Pizza, with a replacement yet to be determined — KFC names Jason Marker its new CMO, replacing Barry Westrum — Taco Bell names Brian Niccols its new CMO, replacing David Ovens who resigned for personal reasons, opting to return to Australia with his family – YUM sells off A&W and Long John Silver’s to franchise groups from each chain – In addition to the CKE and BK agency changes, Applebee’s and El Pollo Loco announce an ad agency review, and there is a rumor, per mediabistro.com, that Long John Silver’s may no longer be working with Northlich, its ad agency of four years.
All of these announcements are recent, and all of the chains announcing executive departures are incurring periods of relatively soft or flat sales. While Wendy’s has been slightly positive of late, its flat performance over the past several years is a disconnect with its outstanding and seemingly perpetual reputation for good taste and quality. While YUM’s international business thrives, domestically it is struggling. Applebee’s, after a long period of improved sales, has started sliding downward again and is also faced with the weak performance of sister chain IHOP, both under the Dine-Equity parent umbrella. In some cases, off-target marketing may be the issue, but the challenging issue of selective consumption within a soft economy looms, causing many companies to question are they doing all they can to maximize business. It will be interesting to see how much positive change the new players can enact on both marketing and operations.
Category: News | Tags: A&W, Applebee’s, Barry Westrum, BK, Brian Niccols, Burger King, Cedar Enterprises, CKE, David Karam, David Ovens, El Pollo Loco, IHOP, Jason Marker, Ken Calwell, KFC, Long John Silver’s, Northlich, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, YUM