Domino's CEO leaves a chain reborn, flying high

Domino's CEO leaves a chain reborn, flying high

Domino's President and CEO J. Patrick Doyle will step down in June from the top spot at a chain he led from its "cardboard crust" and "ketchup" sauce days to pizza market leader and substantial force even in the entire QSR category

Doyle will be replaced July 1 with Richard Allison, who is currently Domino's international president, while current Domino's USA President Russell Weiner will be promoted to a newly-created COO and president of the Americas position for the chain, a news release said. 

Doyle said he leaves this spring having reached the three hefty goals he set for himself when he stepped into the top spot nearly eight years ago. 

"One of the great honors and opportunities of my professional life was being named CEO of this incredible brand in early 2010," he said in the release. "At that time, I set three goals for myself. I wanted us to become the No.1 pizza company in the world. I wanted Domino's to provide our franchisees with the best possible return on their investment by creating a dramatically better experience for our customers. And I wanted to have a leadership team in place that would be ready to create even better results into the future. I'm proud to say that we've accomplished all of those goals, and I will leave Domino's knowing that it is in great hands."

Domino's Board Chairman David Brandon said the brand's improvement under Doyle has been transformative. 

"Patrick excelled at every role he served at Domino's for more than 20 years and during the past eight, he distinguished himself as one of the best leaders in the restaurant industry," Brandon said in the release. 

"Under his leadership, the brand opened more than 5,500 stores, launched in more than a dozen new countries, and Domino's became one of the top-performing stocks of the decade. As important, though, is the fact that he developed an outstanding leadership team, which has allowed the board to select a successor from that team."

As Domino's International President, the incoming CEO Richard Allison has also had amazing success in his responsibilities overseeing 9,000-plus stores and franchise relationships outside the U.S. The former Bain & Company, Inc. partner and restaurant practice co-leader joined Domino's in March 2011, as executive vice president of international and made substantial gains on the chain's growth outside its home base country.

"Under Ritch's leadership, Domino's international division grew by more than 4,500 stores in more than 85 markets in six years," Brandon said in the release. "Domino's International has achieved 95 consecutive quarters of same store sales growth and accounts for more than one-half of the company's global retail sales."

Allison said his main focus as the chain's new leader will be to continue the incredible roll that his predecessor started. 
"Patrick Doyle inspired us with the vision to become the world's market share leader in pizza, and we've done that. Now, we're looking to continue accelerating our growth with the support of our tremendous franchisees, managers and team members the world over. We want to become the dominant player in pizza everywhere in the world. I can't wait to get started."

Incoming COO and President of the Americas Russell Weiner was previously responsible for the reinvention of Domino's U.S. menu, which led to record-setting sales increases and the turnaround of the Domino's brand. Weiner is also credited for the creation of Domino's "Pizza Theater" store design, the redesign of the brand logo, and creation of the DXP pizza delivery vehicle, as well as many product and technology innovation launches.

"Joining Domino's as CMO in 2008 was the thrill of a lifetime for me," Weiner said in the release. "We had an opportunity to take a 'legacy' brand that was almost 50 years old and make it fresh again. Any marketer would love to have that chance. 

"But then to become president of the U.S. business and now, to serve as chief operating officer and to lead the Americas, is an honor that is difficult to describe. I'm looking forward to working closely with Ritch as we set our sights even higher than ever."

The 58-year-old chain has more than 14,400 stores in over 85 international markets. Domino's had global retail sales of nearly $10.9 billion in 2016, with more than $5.3 billion in the U.S. and more than $5.5 billion internationally. In the third quarter of 2017, Domino's had global retail sales of more than $2.8 billion, with nearly $1.4 billion in the U.S. and over $1.4 billion internationally. 

Photo: iStock

Topics: Business Strategy and Profitability, Cheese, Delivery, Dough, Financial News, Food & Beverage, Franchising & Growth, Marketing / Branding / Promotion, Online / Mobile / Social, Operations Management, Pizza Sauce, Pizza Toppings

Companies: Domino's

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