MOD Pizza, the rapidly expanding pioneer of fast-casual pizza, announced that it has named John Nelson as CEO of its United Kingdom operations. An engaging restaurant operator, Nelson joins from Nando’s U.K. to lead the MOD Squad in bringing the company’s made on demand pizza and people-first culture to the U.K.. Nelson will be charged with overseeing the growth and development of MOD Pizza’s first international market. Nelson will work closely with MOD Pizza joint venture partner Sir Charles Dunstone and his long-standing business partner, Roger Taylor, ahead of MOD Pizza’s first U.K. restaurant opening in 2016.
“We are thrilled to be welcoming John to the MOD Pizza family. His track record of developing culture-led companies will be of tremendous value to MOD Pizza as we build a strong infrastructure ahead of entering the U.K. market,” says Scott Svenson, cofounder and CEO of MOD Pizza. “John’s rich U.K. experience and respect for the MOD Pizza mission to create opportunities for growth and giving back, provides us with a true ambassador to lead us to success in the United Kingdom. We look forward to working closely with him to bringing MOD Pizza and the MOD Squad culture to the U.K. in the coming year.”
Nelson, who has more than 20 years of experience developing successful restaurant and retail concepts across the United Kingdom, joins MOD from global restaurant chain Nando’s where he was the operations director accountable for more than 350 restaurants. At Nando’s, he oversaw operations, strategy execution, team development, and new restaurant openings, centered around Nando’s core values of pride, passion, courage, integrity and family to drive the team’s success and loyal consumer following in the U.K. Prior to Nando’s, Nelson held several leadership positions for one of Europe's largest consumer electronics retailers, Dixons Stores Group (formerly Curry’s), including central operations director, divisional director, and customer operations manager.
“I am really excited to be joining such a high growth brand and look forward to working closely with the MOD Pizza team to shape and drive our entrance into the U.K. market,” says John Nelson, MOD Pizza U.K. CEO. “When I started with Nando’s, I was really attracted to the opportunity to be part of and grow a restaurant concept that put emphasis on its people, both the team internally and broader community. The chance to introduce MOD Pizza internationally reminds me of that culture and growth potential, and I see tremendous runway for the brand in the U.K. market. I’m eager to open the doors of our first location next year to show U.K. pizza fans what the buzz surrounding this great brand is all about.”
Nelson will join MOD Pizza beginning January.