CiCi's Pizza has announced the retirement of CEO Mike Shumsky after a successful 30 plus year career serving the restaurant industry.
Shumsky joined CiCi’s in 2009 and carefully assembled a seasoned executive team to lead the organization. During his tenure, Shumsky and his team revived the product innovation program, established consistent brand standards across the system, rolled out new site models and point-of-sales systems, and launched unique franchise financing and expansion programs. As a result of those efforts, CiCi’s was recognized with numerous industry and consumer awards, including being named America’s favorite pizza chain in a 2012 Market Force survey.
Shumsky will continue to operate in a consulting capacity through October 2013 to ensure an effective leadership transition and will continue to be a significant shareholder in the company. “We want to thank Mike for his tireless effort and leadership of CiCi’s over the past four years,” says Michael Lay, managing partner of ONCAP, the controlling shareholder of CiCi’s. “Mike has been and continues to be a great partner, and we wish him all the best.”
CiCi’s has named franchising veteran Darin Harris as new CEO effective August 12. A seasoned franchise executive with nearly 20 years of relevant experience, Harris was most recently chief operating officer for Primrose Schools, an Atlanta-based franchiser of educational child care centers. Harris previously served as senior vice president for Arby’s Restaurant Group where he revitalized franchise growth and led the development strategy for the $3 billion franchise group. He also has been a franchise owner and operator for multiple Papa John’s Pizza and Qdoba Mexican Grill restaurants and held key franchise officer roles for Captain D’s Seafood and Orion Foodsystems. Harris began his restaurant career with Pizza Hut.
“Given my background in all disciplines of franchising, specifically in the pizza sector, and as a past franchise owner and operator, I have direct knowledge of what it takes to work with franchisees to grow the brand,” Harris says. “My first order of business will be to carefully study the brand and listen to CiCi’s teams, franchise partners, and guests to identify opportunities for growth as well as maximize franchisee and guest satisfaction.”
“We feel confident that Darin’s unique mix of pizza and food industry expertise, coupled with firsthand experience leading organizations as both franchiser and franchisee, strongly positions him to lead CiCi’s and our system of dedicated operators toward continued success,” Shumsky says. “I look forward to working with him during this transition and will move on secure in the knowledge that CiCi’s is in good hands.”