Industry News | January 5, 2010

Domino's CEO Stepping Down

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Domino's Pizza Inc. announced that chairman and CEO David A. Brandon will be stepping down as CEO effective March 7. The board of directors plans to elect J. Patrick Doyle as Brandon's successor.

Brandon, 57, will be retained by the company as a special advisor for the balance of 2010. In addition, Brandon will stand for re-election to the board when his current term expires in 2012. Concurrent with this announcement, the University of Michigan is announcing that Brandon was selected to serve as its next director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Under Brandon's leadership, Domino's grew worldwide store count by more than 2,600 units. Brandon joined Domino's in March 1999, soon after the company was sold by its founding owner to Bain Capital. Since then, the company's enterprise value doubled to over $2 billion. Prior to joining Domino's, Brandon was chairman, president, and CEO of Valassis Inc.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to lead Domino's Pizza for the past 11 years,” Brandon says of making the transition to non-executive chair. “My leadership team, our team members, and franchisees are the very best in this—or any—business. I will continue to stay connected to this great brand and company as chairman of the board, and I am confident that, under Patrick's leadership, Domino's Pizza will continue to grow and succeed. This company's best days still lie ahead."

Brandon says that Domino's has a formalized succession-planning process in place, and the board reviews the plan in detail at least once a year. As part of the process, successor candidates for every leadership team member are identified, and a plan laid out for successor readiness. Patrick Doyle was identified and prepared to succeed to the role of CEO as part of this process.

"Patrick Doyle has been a rising star at Domino's Pizza from the beginning," Brandon says. "He has had numerous leadership successes at Domino's and has long been identified as the best choice to be my successor. I look forward to continuing our close working relationship during this transition year. Our company is in great hands with Patrick. He's a strategic, proven, and effective leader, a passionate operator, and loves Domino's Pizza as much as I do."

Doyle, 46, has been president of Domino's USA since September 2007, and has been with the company since 1997. Prior to serving as president, Doyle successfully led the company's corporate store unit, the international division, and the marketing department.

"I've learned so much from working closely with Dave for these past 11 years, and I am honored and very excited to take on this new challenge and opportunity. We've got a great team, and we're ready to continue to work together with our franchisees around the world to drive this business to an even higher level of success," Doyle says.

Before joining Domino's over 12 years ago, Doyle spent six years with the Gerber Products Company, most recently as general manager of its U.S. baby food business. Prior to joining Gerber, Doyle was European general manager of Intervascular SA in LaCiotat, France. He also spent five years at First Chicago Corporation as a Corporate Finance Officer. Doyle holds an MBA from the University Of Chicago Booth School Of Business and an undergraduate degree in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Details of both Brandon's transition agreement and Doyle's employment agreement will be finalized over the coming weeks and voted on at the company's February 24 board meeting.