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Senior vice president Donald F. Calhoon, a 22-year company veteran, will lead the entire Wendy’s marketing department, effectively immediately.
Calhoon, 49, manages Wendy's highly successful advertising program featuring Founder Dave Thomas. The folksy, down-to-earth commercials have elevated Wendy's advertising to its highest recognition levels with consumers. Calhoon also leads the Wendy's brand marketing, advertising production, media buying, communications, public relations and event planning departments. In his expanded role, Calhoon will also direct the Company's research, analysis and new product marketing departments.
"Combining research with brand advertising strengthens the continuity of our marketing strategies at Wendy's," said chief executive officer and president Jack Schuessler. "Don and his team have delivered a superior marketing program. Consumers trust the Wendy's brand and respond positively to our advertising. For more than a decade, our marketing team has helped drive record sales and profits and we expect excellent results in the future."
Calhoon joined Wendy's in 1978 and held various positions of increasing responsibility in the area of field marketing. He was appointed vice president of field marketing in 1984. In that capacity, he coordinated marketing plans for both company and franchise markets in the United States working with more than 50 regional advertising agencies. He was appointed vice president of corporate marketing for Wendy's in 1989, responsible for national marketing, brand marketing, advertising, sales promotion, merchandising and media in the U.S and Canada.
Calhoon spearheaded Wendy's efforts in special event marketing and developed the Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge, a professional made for television golf tournament, and Wendy's High School Heisman Award Program. He was promoted to senior vice president in 1995.
"Integrating research, analysis and testing even closer with advertising strengthens the power of the Wendy's brand," said Calhoon. "Our goal is to build on Wendy's clear No.1 quality position as we grow sales and profits. We have an outstanding working relationship between management and franchisees that we will leverage as we continue to innovate and improve our strategies."
Calhoon serves on the board of the Association of National Advertisers and the Dave Thomas Foundation of Adoption. He is a member of the ANA Advertising Management Committee and a former member of the National Advertising Review Board. He resides in Columbus with his wife Joanne and their three children.