Qdoba has a new, yet familiar look under fresh leadership. The fast casual announced May 14 that Keith Guilbault is officially taking the reins as chief executive officer following the brand’s sale and transition into an independent company, effective immediately.
Guilbault served as Qdoba’s brand president and chief operating officer since 2016, overseeing about 740 units under Jack in the Box’s ownership. Before, he held a series of executive leadership roles at the fast-food company, including senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
“Keith has been instrumental in helping to guide Adoba through the brand’s sale and transition into an independent company,” said Lance Milken, senior partner at Apollo Global Management, in a statement. “We look forward to working with Keith, and believe he is ideally suited to lead Qdoba’s outstanding management team, employee base, and group of franchises as the company continues to bolster its position as a market-leading brand.”
Jack in the Box completed the sale of Qdoba in mid-March to Apollo for about $305 million in cash. At the time Jack in the Box acquired Qdoba in 2003, it had 85 locations in 16 states, with $65 million in system-wide sales. It generated more than $820 million in fiscal 2017.
In addition to Guilbault’s appointment, Qdoba named industry veteran Susan Daggett chief financial officer. Daggett most recently held the interim CFO role at Noodles & Company, a position she led since June 2017. She was the company’s vice president of finance since August 2016. Previously, Daggett clocked time at Pinnacle Restaurant Group, Inc., Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc., and Arby’s Inc. Daggett is expected to join Qdoba May 23.
“Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and technical expertise that will greatly benefit Adoba as we move forward,” Guilbault said in a statement. “I believe her proven track record as a visionary leader who successfully guided the financial and accounting operations of other large restaurant organizations makes Susan a natural fit for the role.”
Earlier in the month, Qdoba announced that it plans to add about 100 full-time positions to its corporate team as it looks to strengthen its Southern California roots. Open positions include roles ranging from specialists to executive management in a variety of departments, such as: Finance & Accounting, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, Supply Chain and Restaurant Development.