Industry News | February 5, 2015

Cinnabon Names New President; Cole Now Group President at FOCUS

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Joe Guith, COO for Cinnabon, has been promoted to president of Cinnabon. Guith will continue to build on the strong momentum created by his popular predecessor, Kat Cole. In a statement, Guith says, “I am excited to be part of such an iconic and popular brand that’s name evokes a positive connection with so many people. It has been an exhilarating transition as I’ve become acquainted with the team and franchisees, indulged in every Cinnabon treat and explored all the exciting ways in which the brand is growing.”

While Guith takes over as president of Cinnabon, Cole will remain an influential asset to the brand's development. Cole has been promoted to taking on a larger, global role with the parent company as group president of FOCUS Brands. She will oversee the business and growth of all brands at FOCUS in consumer-packaged goods, foodservice licensing, global licensed platforms, and e-commerce channels. Close at the helm, Cole and Guith will work together under the FOCUS Brands umbrella to accelerate the multichannel development of Cinnabon, while Guith focuses on the core franchise business and corporate team advancement.

Kat has been president of Cinnabon for the past four years, where she was accountable for leading, evolving, and building the team and multi-channel brand. In her four years as president at Cinnabon, her team and franchisees have accomplished franchise unit growth to 1,200 in 55 countries and increased profitability, franchisee satisfaction, philanthropic partnerships, and comp sales performance that is the strongest the brand has seen in over a decade. In that same period, Cinnabon awareness, cult following, social media engagement, and multi-channel retail products (70 products in 70,000 points of distribution), and brand extensions have been in the top of its segment and the industry at large. In 2013, Cinnabon passed $1 billion in annual branded product sales globally through all retail channels and continued to grow beyond that in 2014.

Cole is thrilled to steward in new leadership and is incredibly excited about the brand’s future and her new role.

“Joe brings strong experience in consumer brands, franchising, and strategy, has proven himself most recently as the brand’s chief operating officer and is the right leader at the right time to take over this role as Cinnabon president,” Cole says.

Previously, Guith worked with clients such as the Coca-Cola Company, Molson Coors Brewing Company, and Staples. His prior roles were in general management and strategy with Coca-Cola and Yum! Brands in domestic and international markets. With more than 20 years of experience in food service, consumer products and retail, he brings a breadth of experience relevant to the continued growth of the Cinnabon brand.

Guith is originally from Michigan and has a BBA and MBA from the University of Michigan. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife and two children.

News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by QSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

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