Industry Veteran Served as Chief Operating Officer of Yum! Brands and was Senior Vice President at Wendy's under Founder Dave Thomas. Roland Smith to Remain on Wendy's Board of Directors
September 01, 2011 // Franchising.com // DUBLIN, Ohio - The Wendy's Company (NYSE:WEN) announced today that Emil J. Brolick will join Wendy's as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 12, 2011. Brolick, who will relocate to the Dublin area, will also join the Company's Board of Directors. He succeeds Roland Smith, who will step down from his role as President and CEO but serve as a Senior Advisor to the Company during a transition period with Brolick through the end of the year. Smith will remain on the Company's Board of Directors.
"We are thrilled to welcome Emil back to the Wendy's family," said Nelson Peltz, Chairman of The Wendy's Company. "Emil is a proven brand builder in the restaurant industry who recently led the turnaround of Taco Bell and drove strong same-store sales growth. Emil was also one of the primary architects of Wendy's strategy in the late 1980s, which produced 16 consecutive years of same-store sales growth for the brand. Emil is the perfect CEO to lead Wendy's today - he is joining Wendy's at a time when the company is performing well with strong sales momentum. Having recently sold Arby's, we are now focusing our resources on driving sales, profits and shareholder value at Wendy's through continued new product development, re-engineering of the core menu, international expansion and investment in the North America restaurants."
Brolick was Chief Operating Officer of Yum! Brands Inc., where he was responsible for driving operational excellence across the business, and most recently he was President of A&W All American Foods and Long John Silver's. Previously, Brolick was President of U.S. Brand Building for Yum and prior to that he was Taco Bell's President and Chief Concept Officer. Under his leadership, Taco Bell delivered five consecutive years of same-store sales and profit growth to become the nation's leading Mexican-style quick service restaurant chain.
Prior to joining Yum in 2000, Brolick worked at Wendy's for 12 years, lastly serving as Senior Vice President of New Product Marketing, Research and Strategic Planning. During his tenure, Brolick worked closely with Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas and executive management to deliver consistent sales growth for the brand, provide strong consumer insights and drive excellence. Brolick holds a Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Economics from the University of Detroit, and is Chairman of the Board of Governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
Brolick said: "Wendy's is one of the most attractive growth stories in the quick-service restaurant industry and I am excited to be rejoining the Company at such an important point. I look forward to working with the talented team at Wendy's as we continue to execute on the many compelling growth opportunities available to Wendy's brand. We will focus on building significant value for all stakeholders."
Smith has been President and CEO of The Wendy's Company since July 2011 and Wendy's/Arby's Group since September 2008. Smith previously served as CEO of Arby's, AMF and American Golf, and held executive leadership positions at several other companies.
Peltz said: "Roland has done an extraordinary job positioning Wendy's for growth and we thank him for his hard work and dedication over the years. Following the merger of Wendy's and Arby's in 2008, Roland immediately reorganized the Company and significantly improved profitability. Roland and his team then established Wendy's "Real" and "Fresh" brand positioning and rebuilt the product pipeline, which is phenomenal and has just begun to be unveiled. Most recently, Roland and his team completed the successful sale of Arby's and are in the process of moving the Company's corporate headquarters to Ohio."
Smith said: "I am proud of where Wendy's is today and believe the Company is well positioned to successfully execute on its key strategies. As a board member, I look forward to providing support to Emil as Wendy's builds on a strong foundation and continues to grow sales and profits. It was a difficult decision for me to step down as CEO, but the right one for personal reasons as my wife and I want to remain in Georgia close to our family. I also look forward to continuing my role as Chairman of Carmike Cinemas, Inc., which is based in Georgia."
This news release contains certain statements that are not historical facts, including, importantly, information concerning possible or assumed future results of operations of The Wendy's Company and its subsidiaries (collectively "The Wendy's Company" or the "Company"). Those statements, as well as statements preceded by, followed by, or that include the words "may," "believes," "plans," "expects," "anticipates," or the negation thereof, or similar expressions, constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the "Reform Act"). All statements that address future operating, financial or business performance; strategies or expectations; future synergies, efficiencies or overhead savings; anticipated costs or charges; future capitalization; and anticipated financial impacts of recent or pending transactions are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Reform Act. The forward-looking statements are based on our expectations at the time such statements are made, speak only as of the dates they are made and are susceptible to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors. Our actual results, performance and achievements may differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by our forward-looking statements. For all of our forward-looking statements, we claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act. Many important factors could affect our future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by our forward-looking statements. Such factors, all of which are difficult or impossible to predict accurately, and many of which are beyond our control, include, but are not limited to: (1) changes in the quick-service restaurant industry, such as consumer trends toward value-oriented products and promotions or toward consuming fewer meals away from home; (2) prevailing economic, market and business conditions affecting the Company, including competition from other food service providers, high unemployment and decreased consumer spending levels; (3) the ability to effectively manage the acquisition and disposition of restaurants; (4) cost and availability of capital; (5) cost fluctuations associated with food, supplies, energy, fuel, distribution or labor; (6) the financial condition of our franchisees; (7) food safety events, including instances of food-borne illness involving Wendy's or its supply chain; (8) conditions beyond the Company's control such as weather, natural disasters, disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics impacting the Company's customers or food supplies, or acts of war or terrorism; (9) the availability of suitable locations and terms for the development of new restaurants; (10) adoption of new, or changes in, laws, regulations or accounting policies and practices; (11) changes in debt, equity and securities markets; (12) goodwill and long-lived asset impairments; (13) changes in the interest rate environment; and (14) other factors discussed from time to time in the Company's news releases, public statements and/or filings with the SEC, including those identified in the "Risk Factors" sections of our Annual and Quarterly Reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q.
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The Wendy's Company is the third largest quick-service hamburger company in the United States. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 franchise and Company restaurants in the U.S. and 25 other countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For more information about The Wendy's Company, please visit: www.aboutwendys.com.
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