Saucy chicken chain Zaxby’s welcomes Donny Lau as chief financial officer effective July 25. With more than 20 years of experience, Lau comes to Zaxby’s most recently from Dollar General, where he served as senior vice president, finance & chief strategy officer. Prior to his Dollar General tenure, Lau held numerous roles at Yum! Brands. At Zaxby’s, Lau will lead the finance function, including financial strategy, planning and analytics, accounting and treasury.
“Donny’s proven track record in driving financial growth in quick-service and retail organizations, implementing effective strategies and navigating complex financial landscapes makes him a perfect fit for Zaxby’s as we embark on our next phase of growth and expansion,” said Bernard Acoca, Zaxby’s CEO. “I am confident that his expertise and leadership will further elevate our organization’s financial performance and position us for continued success.”
Lau joins Zaxby’s from Dollar General, the largest retailer in the U.S. based on store count, with more than 19,000 company-owned stores and $38 billion in annual revenue, where he served as the senior vice president, finance & chief strategy officer. Since joining Dollar General in 2017, Lau held a variety of leadership positions overseeing many of the company’s key corporate finance functions including strategy, corporate development, investor relations, financial planning & analysis (FP&A) and strategic planning.
While at Yum! Brands, Lau held numerous roles of increasing responsibility, including mergers and acquisitions, FP&A, investor relations, corporate strategy and corporate planning. He also helped architect and played a lead role in the 2016 spin-off of Yum! China into a separate publicly traded company and the subsequent financial refranchising strategy to transform Yum! Brands into a capital-light pure-play franchisor.
Lau received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky and holds an MBA in finance and strategy from Vanderbilt University.
“I am very excited to join Zaxby’s and work alongside this talented team, including our team members and franchisees, to drive the next chapter of growth,” Lau says. “I look forward to helping build on the company’s strong foundation and positive momentum as we continue to capitalize on growth opportunities we see ahead, while delivering meaningful value creation for all stakeholders.”