Jack in the Box’s brand president, Frances Allen, will resign, effective February 9, the company announced Friday.
“As I mentioned at the recent ICR Conference, I will take the opportunity to flatten our organizational structure following the expected sale of our Qdoba brand,” chairman and chief executive officer Lenny Comma said in a statement.
Jack in the Box agreed to deal the 600-plus-unit Mexican fast casual to Apollo Global Management, LLC for about $305 million in cash. Jack in the Box originally acquired Qdoba in 2003 when it had 85 locations in 16 states with $65 million in systemwide sales. The brand now has restaurants in 47 states and generates about $800 million in sales.
“Frances graciously suggested the elimination of her position so that we could more quickly begin restructuring the brand’s leadership,” Comma added. “Frances was instrumental in refining the brand’s strategy and positioning, with an emphasis on improving the quality of the food and transforming the business model to be more asset light through refranchising. We’re grateful for her exemplary leadership and believe the Jack in the Box brand is stronger as a result of her many contributions. We wish her all the best.”
Allen said: “I’m very proud to have led this brand over the last three-plus years and of the accomplishments we have made during my tenure, but I could not in good conscience remain in position within a single-brand structure. The appointment of a new COO is the right time for me to exit, and I am excited to embark on the next phase of my career.”
Jack in the Box also announced that Marcus Tom would join the company on February 12 as vice president and chief operating officer. Tom will oversee operations for the company and franchise restaurants, as well as direct strategic initiatives and operations services. He most recently served as senior vice president of operations at JAB Beech Inc.’s Caribou Coffee brand from January–December 2017. He was senior vice president of operations at Einstein Bros. Bagels from July 2015–December 2016. Tom previously held several positions with Starbucks, including director of business operations (January 2014–June 2015) for all licensed restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. He was Starbucks’ regional director of licensed stores in California and West Arizona (May 2012–December 2013) and regional director with responsibility for company-operated units in San Diego and the greater Phoenix area (March 2006–May 2012). Tom oversaw 600 stores during a six-month assignment as regional vice president in 2009 as well.
Tom worked with YUM! Brands International from 1991–2006 and was a senior leader in the company’s franchised business in Central America and the Caribbean.
“Marcus is an agile leader with a proven record of achieving high levels of operational excellence across large retail systems, like Starbucks,” Comma said. “Adding a seasoned restaurant-industry veteran like him, with his unique skillset and proficiencies in operations, is a key piece of our re-focused Jack in the Box leadership team.”
Tom said he’s met with several franchisees already. “As chief operating officer, I look forward to working with the broader team and our franchisees to build the brand, provide great customer experiences, and contribute to Jack in the Box’s overall success,” he said.
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