International Dairy Queen Inc. (IDQ), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and long-time leader in the quick-service restaurant industry, announced that effective December 31, 2017, president and CEO John Gainor will retire. Chief operating officer Troy Bader will assume the role of IDQ president and CEO on January 1, 2018.

Gainor joined IDQ in 2003 as chief supply chain officer. He was promoted to president and CEO in 2008. In his nearly 10 years as IDQ president and CEO, Gainor continued to modernize the iconic 77-year-old brand. Under his leadership, the company has focused on improving the Dairy Queen fan experience in order to drive system sales and profitability, resulting in record reinvestment in facilities, as well as continued world-wide new store development. Berkshire Hathaway chief executive officer and chairman Warren Buffett says, “John has done everything I hoped for—and more—in accelerating IDQ’s growth in the U.S. and internationally. I thank him for both that and for the development of an outstanding successor, Troy Bader.”

(Dairy Queen also just named a new marketing leader; read more about VP Maria Hokanson here.)

IDQ places significant value on the active process of talent development and succession planning. With this in mind, Gainor recommended Bader to assume the role of IDQ president and CEO to Buffett. “I have worked with Troy for most of his time at IDQ,” Gainor says. “His love of the brand, commitment to franchisee success, knowledge of the vendor community, and concern for all IDQ employees is evident every day. I am confident he will continue to lead the system toward positive growth and ongoing success.”

Bader serves as COO for IDQ in the U.S. and Canada. He is responsible for leading all IDQ core functions for the U.S. and Canadian businesses, including marketing, operations, franchise development, and supply chain, as well as our various concept evolution initiatives. Bader joined the company in 2001. Prior to accepting the role of COO in 2011, he served in various executive leadership positions with the company.

“IDQ is a strong company with a history of great leadership,” Bader says. “I am honored to be entrusted to lead IDQ and to continue to represent the iconic Dairy Queen brand. I look forward to working with our world-wide team of dedicated employees, franchisees and vendors to grow the brand even further through the delivery of exceptional products, great service, and memorable experiences for our fans throughout the world.”

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