Dunkin’ Brands appointed Nigel Travis, former president and CEO of Papa John’s, as CEO of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins parent company. Travis recently announced his departure from the 3,300-unit pizza chain last Thursday, officially leaving the company on December 30, 2008. Just one week later he will assume the role of Dunkin’ CEO from Jon Luther, who will remain executive chairman of the board. Luther, 65, joined Dunkin’ Brands in January 2003 as CEO and added the role of chairman in 2006.

Luther had been working closely with Dunkin’ Brands’ Board of Directors since early 2008 to develop a succession plan and identify a new CEO.

Travis joined Papa John’s in 2005 as president and CEO. During his four-year tenure with the company, Papa John’s online sales tripled and Travis helped position the company’s international business as a major growth platform and oversaw the successful roll out of several new products, including Papa’s Pan Pizza.

Prior to Papa John’s, Travis was with Blockbuster from 1994 to 2004, where he served in increasing roles of responsibility, including president and COO. Before that, he was with Burger King, first as senior vice president of human resources and later as managing director for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“In Nigel, Dunkin’ Brands has found a leader with a proven track record of delivering extraordinary results,” Luther says. “His wide-ranging achievements in retail and the foodservice industry will strengthen our overall senior leadership team, further enhancing our ability to execute our long-range strategic plans.”

Luther will remain with Dunkin’ Brands in a full-time capacity as executive chairman of the board and will work closely with Travis to ensure a smooth transition for the company.

“I am delighted to have the opportunity to join Dunkin’ Brands and build on the remarkable transformation that has taken place under Jon’s leadership,” Travis says. “I am looking forward to working with Jon, the executive team, and all of the employees and franchisees who have helped to reinvigorate two of the world’s most powerful, recognized and beloved brands.”

Travis will relocate to Massachusetts with his family.

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