Burger King Corporation announced today
that John Chidsey, 43, the company’s president and chief financial officer,
has been named chief executive officer, effective immediately.
also announced that Brian Swette, a current independent director, would
serve as non-executive chairman. In addition, Ben Wells, 52, senior vice
president and treasurer, has been promoted to chief financial officer and
Greg Brenneman, Burger King’s former chairman and CEO, is returning to
his private equity firm, TurnWorks Inc., to pursue business turnarounds.
Brenneman joined Burger King Corporation in August 2004 to lead a very
strong senior team that together has accomplished eight consecutive
quarters of positive comparable sales growth. Brenneman has agreed to
continue to work with the Board of Directors as a consultant in connection
with the transition.
“I was brought into Burger King by my longtime friends at TPG, Bain
Capital, and GS Capital Partners to lead the ongoing turnaround of the
company,” said Brenneman. “As the company enters this important next phase,
the Board and I discussed the commitment necessary for any CEO in a public
environment and my career and family goals. As a result, together we
decided that the best time to transition leadership was prior to Burger
King’s initial public offering. I have tremendous confidence in John
Chidsey, senior management, Burger King employees and the franchisees, and
I look forward to cheering them on every step of the way as a significant
shareholder of the company.”
In a statement, the Board of Directors said: “We are extremely pleased
with the progress Burger King has made under Greg’s leadership. He told us
when he came that he wanted to transition the leadership of the company to
John Chidsey at some point. We are confident that now is the right time to
set in motion the next phase of the company’s development. John is a highly
qualified leader who has served as an integral member of the management
team. With experience in managing global and franchise brands, including
Avis, Budget, Jackson-Hewitt and PHH, John brings outstanding leadership
acumen, including important skills in franchisee relations and the ability
to build a global business. We have great confidence in John and the
executive team and their ability to lead the company beyond this important
phase, and we are confident that the company will execute a smooth
transition as the brand continues to move forward.
“We have known Greg for a long time, and his vast experience and drive
for fast-paced change has been invaluable to the brand. We thank Greg for
the progress that has been made and look forward to his continued counsel
Chidsey said, “I am excited to take the reins as CEO at such an
important time in the company’s history. I have enjoyed working with Greg,
and I look forward to continuing to work with the rest of Burger King’s
extremely talented management team as we continue to build a company in
which employees and franchisees can take pride.”
Prior to serving as Burger King’s president and CFO, Chidsey served as
president of the Americas and president of North America at the company.
Before joining Burger King in March 2004, Chidsey served as chairman and
CEO for two corporate divisions at Cendant: the Vehicle Service Division, a
$5.9 billion division, which includes Avis Rent A Car and Budget Rent A Car
Systems, and the financial services division, a $1.4 billion division that
includes Jackson Hewitt and PHH. Previously, Chidsey was the CFO of Pepsi-
Cola Eastern Europe and the CFO of PepsiCo World Trading Co. Inc.
Chidsey holds an MBA in finance and accounting and a law degree from
Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., as well as a bachelor’s administration
degree from Davidson College, Davidson, N.C. He is a certified public
accountant and a member of the Georgia Bar Association.
Wells has more than 25 years of experience in finance. Before joining
Burger King Corporation, Wells spent 15 years at Compaq with his last
position as vice president and corporate treasurer. Prior to that, he
served in various finance roles at British Petroleum. The Board said, “Ben
is a seasoned finance leader with an impressive track record.”
Swette has served on Burger King’s Board since April 2003. From 1998 to
2002, Swette served as COO of eBay in San Jose, Calif.