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    Shake Shack Shuffles Executive Team

  • Industry News February 20, 2019
    Shake Shack
    Shake Shack is gearing up for growth.

    Shake Shack today announced the appointments of chief development officer, chief global licensing officer, chief information officer, and chief marketing officer, as well as the addition of its ninth board member. All four positions represent new roles at the company, filled with a balanced team of internal and external talent. With sizeable growth ahead and a relentless focus on excellence, experience and hospitality, Shake Shack’s team of senior leaders will be instrumental in its strategic growth.

    Andrew McCaughan, formerly vice president of development at Shake Shack, has been promoted to chief development officer, effective February 28, 2019. He will be responsible for the overall growth of the company, leading the real estate strategy, design, construction and facilities functions. Since joining the company in 2010 with just three Shacks, McCaughan has developed and led a best in class development team, secured iconic real estate in numerous new markets, and guided the restaurant’s design vision to constantly enhance the guest experience. Now with over 200 restaurants worldwide, McCaughan actively focuses on orchestrating the extension of brand and digital experience into the physicality of the restaurant, while leading strategic growth and development of new locations. Prior to joining Shake Shack, McCaughan worked in multiple facets for renowned Chef and Restaurateur Rick Bayless. It was under Bayless that McCaughan cultivated his passion for the restaurant business, from fine dining to street food.

    Michael Kark, formerly vice president of global licensing at Shake Shack, has been promoted to chief global licensing officer, effective February 28, 2019. He will be responsible for overseeing the company's rapidly expanding licensed partnerships around the world. Kark has led our international business since nascent stages in 2012, having established pivotal partnerships and developed an extraordinary organization capable of building our business around the globe. Over the past eight years, Kark has launched Shake Shack across the UK, Middle East, Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Turkey alongside some of the industry's most admirable partners. In addition, Kark actively pursues business development for future partnerships while managing cross-functional teams including operations, real estate, marketing, design, culinary and supply chain. Before joining Shake Shack, Kark spent eight years overseeing operations at Chipotle. Prior to that, Kark spent four years with Marriott International supporting world-class hospitality.

    “Investment in our teams and developing future leaders from within has always been incredibly important at Shake Shack. We believe the unity that we have built amongst our teams and across the company is a key driver of our ability to deliver a great guest experience and successfully grow our footprint”, says Randy Garutti, Shake Shack CEO. “We’re proud to name Andrew McCaughan as chief development officer and Michael Kark as chief global licensing officer, two individuals that have grown with me and the Shake Shack Leadership Team over the years and have a proven ability to lead, execute and inspire. As we continue to build community gathering places across the U.S. and around the globe, both Andrew and Michael will be instrumental.”  

    Dave Harris has been named as chief information officer and will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of technology at Shake Shack. Harris comes with a breadth of experience across digital innovation and technology-enabled growth in large multi-unit environments. Prior to joining Shake Shack, Harris served as vice president of Digital Technology at Newell Brands, a publicly traded consumer goods company, where he had global responsibility for the eCommerce and Digital Marketing technology across their diverse portfolio of brands including Sharpie, Elmers, Contigo, Graco, Calphalon, Coleman, Marmot, Rubbermaid and Yankee Candle. He has led the delivery of multiple tech transformation initiatives ranging from creating new commerce websites, optimizing checkout to increase conversion, developing new analytics capabilities, and building a cohesive data-centric view of consumers across Newell's brands. Before Newell, Harris was CIO at Yankee Candle where he was responsible for leading the global IT function. There, he led the development of their omnichannel strategy which included deployment of a new POS across 600+ retail stores as well as the implementation of the web, mobile and kiosk technology.  Prior to joining Yankee Candle, Harris held various technology leadership roles at Legends, jetBlue Airways, Avis Rent A Car and Virgin Atlantic Airways, where he developed and led teams responsible for consumer websites, reservations and POS systems, loyalty programs, information security, infrastructure, operations, and compliance.

    As previously announced, Jay Livingston has been named chief marketing officer at the company and will be responsible for leading strategic and innovative marketing at Shake Shack. Livingston brings a wealth of experience in scaling large global brands, as well as in high growth consumer-facing early stage companies. Livingston previously served as chief marketing officer of BARK, makers of BarkBox, from July of 2017. Prior to that, Livingston was senior vice president of global marketing at Bank of America where he held senior marketing roles across the corporation during his twenty-year career. Livingston is also an active angel investor and advisor in NYC, and is a founding member of Unite America.

    “Shake Shack is experiencing incredible growth and now more than ever, our leadership teams will be key to our success,” says Randy Garutti, Shake Shack CEO. “We’re thrilled to welcome Dave Harris as CIO and Jay Livingston as CMO. With a continued focus on cultivating a connected community through the strength of our brand and the evolution of our digital products, Dave and Jay’s partnership will be integral in forwarding a personalized dialogue with our guests, building the infrastructure needed to support innovation, and honing in on the intersection of convenience and excellence in experience through tech.”

    The search for CIO and CMO was conducted by True Search.

    Shake Shack also welcomes a new member to its Board of Directors with the appointment of Sumaiya Balbale, effective March 19, 2019. A skilled executive with years of experience in e-commerce, digital media and marketing technology and analytics, Balbale will become the ninth member of Shake Shack's Board of Directors. Balbale was the vice president of E-commerce, Mobile and Digital Marketing for Walmart US from January 2017 to February 2019. In her role she helped deliver two consecutive years of significant double digit growth for the e-commerce business while also leading and transforming the digital media, social media, marketing analytics and marketing technology capabilities of the organization. Balbale joined Walmart after the retailer purchased Jet.com in September 2016.  An early member of the Jet team, she led all consumer marketing for the startup including brand, acquisition and retention efforts. In addition to growing the Jet business to a $1 billion run rate in the first 12 months, she also created award-winning advertising for the brand which won the Cannes Media Grand Prix in 2017. Balbale served as vice president of Marketing at Jet from September 2014 through October 2017.  Prior to Jet, Balbale held leadership roles at multiple Amazon e-commerce verticals including Diapers.com, Casa.com and Soap.com. Before venturing into eCommerce, Balbale spent time as a brand strategist in advertising, working at FCB and Deutsch for clients such as IKEA, Novartis, and SC Johnson. Balbale is a graduate of Harvard Business School and Brown University. She was named one of Fortune’s 40 under 40 in 2018.

    "Shake Shack has an incredible brand and I've long admired its unique ability to create a passionate customer following by building great customer experiences," says Balbale. "As Shake Shack continues to expand, I'm excited to leverage my expertise in brand, e-commerce, and digital marketing to help guide their growth."

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