CHARLOTTE, NC- - (Marketwire - Jun 29, 2012) - Driven Brands, Inc. announced today that it has appointed Jonathan Fitzpatrick (42) as the company's new President and CEO. He succeeds Kenneth D. Walker (64), who is retiring July 6th. Driven Brands is the parent of Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting, Meineke Car Care Centers, Econo Lube N' Tune, AutoQual, Aero Colours, Drive N Style, and Tortal.net.
Fitzpatrick brings more than 15 years of experience in franchising and global operations, most recently as EVP Chief Brand and Operations officer of Burger King, where he has worked since 2005.
"We are pleased to welcome Jonathan as the new CEO of Driven Brands. He is an accomplished executive whose experience and expertise at building global businesses will be invaluable to the continued success of this dynamic company," said Ira D. Kleinman, Senior Managing Director of Harvest Partners, the private equity firm that acquired Driven Brands in December 2011.
As Executive Vice President, Chief Brand & Operations Officer at Burger King for the past two years, Fitzpatrick led a whirlwind of activity including: the biggest equipment and menu overhaul in the brand's history, the development of new operational tools, and notable unit expansion that impacted operating and financial performance at the fast food franchising giant in 2011. He has held a variety of senior executive positions within Burger King covering a wide array of responsibilities ranging from head of Central European Operations and SVP of Franchise Development in North America to VP of Information Technology. Fitzpatrick holds both Bachelor's and Graduate degrees from the University College Dublin, Ireland.
Commenting on his appointment, incoming President and CEO Jonathan Fitzpatrick said, "Driven Brands is a great company made up of established brands and committed franchisees. I am looking forward to building upon all the success and championing new approaches to drive sustainable and profitable growth both domestically and in the largely untapped international markets."
"We also thank Ken for his contributions and commitment, and we wish him well in his retirement," said Ira D. Kleinman, Senior Managing Director of Harvest Partners.
Mr. Walker, retiring Driven Brands Chairman & CEO, said, "After 16 exciting and wonderfully fulfilling years leading first Meineke then Driven Brands, there comes a time for the next stage in both an individual's as well as a company's life." Walker added, "It is with a great deal of pride that I leave a very successful organization to a new dynamic leader in Jonathan Fitzpatrick. Jonathan's vision combined with the passion of the entire management team and its real heroes, the franchisees, will further strengthen Driven Brands' leadership position in the automotive aftermarket."
Founded in 1981, Harvest Partners, LP (www.harvpart.com) is a leading New York-based private equity investment firm pursuing management buyouts and growth financings. Harvest focuses on acquiring profitable companies in the business services, manufacturing and distribution, industrial services, midstream energy and consumer products and retail sectors. This strategy leverages Harvest's over 30 years of experience in financing organic and acquisition-oriented growth companies.
Driven Brands, (www.drivenbrands.com) headquartered in Charlotte, NC, serves as parent company for the separate businesses: Maaco (a franchise-based collision repair and auto painting retail network); Meineke Car Care Centers (a franchise-based automotive service and repair retail network); Econo Lube N' Tune (a franchised chain of automotive repair/quick lube services); a franchised network of mobile services consisting of AutoQual, Aero-Colours & Drive N Style (specializing in automotive interior reconditioning and maintenance, paint refinishing and restyling services for Car Dealerships) and Tortal.net (developer of online training solutions for a variety of industries). Management team members serve on the industry association boards, the IFA and AAIA.
Founded in 1972, Maaco Collision Repair & Auto Painting (www.maaco.com) repairs accident damage, dents and faded paint for close to 500,000 drivers annually. The 450 franchises have restored the safety and beauty of all types of vehicles for nearly 40 years. MAACO Franchising, Inc., headquartered in King of Prussia, Pa, has been cited numerous times by Entrepreneur magazine as #1 in its category in the Annual Franchise 500 survey.
Beginning in 1972, Meineke Car Care Centers (www.meineke.com) has expanded its menu of product offerings to meet the demands of a changing marketplace. In 1986, the chain relocated from Houston, TX to Charlotte, NC. Demonstrating steady growth, both domestically and internationally with locations in Canada, Mexico, South Korea, the Mid-East, China and new openings scheduled for Chile and Caribbean, Meineke now represents over 900 franchised service centers, with an additional 100 licenses sold and in development. The American Association of Franchisees & Dealers recognized Meineke in 2001 as its first automotive industry Franchisor to earn the coveted Fair Franchising Seal. Meineke regularly appears in Entrepreneur Magazine's Annual Franchise 500 (55nd overall and #1 in class for 2011), a list of the 500 best franchise opportunities in America.
Econo Lube N' Tune & Brakes (www.econolube.com) was established in 1973 and was acquired by Driven Brands in 2006. The franchise automotive service chain has 160 units primarily in the Southwest and West and boasts 106 units which are co-branded with Meineke. This new concept of combining express oil changes with more technical repair expertise is proving very successful in the marketplace.
Between 2005-2008 Driven Brands acquired three mobile business that service new car dealers consisting of: AutoQual (www.autoqual.com), a series of proprietary processes and services for used cars that makes them look and smell like new, Aero Colours (www.aerocolours.com) the first company to market an airbrush touchup process for repairing stone chips and now mobile bumper repair/refinishing, glass repair & headlight restoration, and Drive N Style (www.drivenstyle.com), which specializes in the installation of unique interior and exterior restyling components. In 2012, the AutoQual and Aero Colours brands will be combined with Drive N Style and franchised as a multi-service mobile provider of appearance enhancement services and marketed to car dealerships, fleet operators, rental car agencies and retail consumers.
Tortal (www.tortal.net) is a training company that specializes in developing interactive online training solutions for companies and organizations in a variety of industries. Tortal provides the tools needed to set-up a training site, track users, build custom courses, and distribute the training content worldwide. For information on Tortal.net services, contact their President at 704-644-8156.
704-377-8855, ext. 8180