Wendy's International, Inc. (NYSE: WEN) announced today it has appointed Brion G. Grube as senior vice president of its International division.
Grube, 49, has been senior vice president of Wendy's in Canada for the past seven years. He will report to chief executive officer and president Jack Schuessler.
"Brion has delivered excellent performance managing our rapidly growing Wendy's business in Canada, which has doubled during his tenure to 324 restaurants, including nearly 100 Wendy's/Tim Hortons combo units'' said Schuessler. "In addition to new unit development, our Wendy's Canadian business has been a strong performer in growing revenue and profits. Now we look forward to Brion providing leadership and strategic direction for the International Wendy's division.''
Schuessler noted that average unit sales volumes at company restaurants in Canada have gown more than 40% while Grube headed the business. In addition, the number of franchisees have tripled, and the Canadian Franchise Association has given Wendy's their Award of Excellence twice in the past three years. Wendy's International division consists of 370 restaurants outside of North America in three regions—Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Pacific and Europe/Middle East. Nearly all of the International restaurants are operated by franchisees.
The company recently appointed senior vice president John F. Brownley as head of International finance. Brownley, the company's treasurer, will also work with Grube on planning for the International division.
"Our approach with International Wendy's will be very disciplined, focusing on our areas of strength with experienced franchisees who have strong operational skills and solid financial backgrounds,'' said Grube. "Our goal is to support our franchisees and develop the International division into a more profitable contributor for the Company.''
Grube joined Wendy's in 1990 as division vice president for the Company's Virginia Beach market. He previously was division vice president for a California-based financial institution and prior to that spent 12 years with Pizza Hut in various multi-unit leadership positions. He has a B.S. in Comprehensive Social Studies from Millersville State University.
Neil Lester heads Canadian Wendy's
The Company also announced today that it has promoted Neil G. Lester to senior vice president in charge of Wendy's business in Canada. Lester, 46, joined Wendy's in 1997 and most recently was a division vice president in Canada. The Ontario native has been heavily involved in planning the business strategies that will guide Wendy's aggressive growth plans in Canada. He previously was regional director of operations for Blockbuster Video, and a former market director for Burger King in Canada.
"As a Canadian, I'm very proud to lead the premier hamburger restaurant chain in the country,'' he said.
Lester holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Hotel and Food Administration from the University of Guelph in Toronto, Ontario. He will report to Tom Mueller, president and chief operating officer of Wendy's North America.
The company also announced today that senior vice president James Rieger has resigned to pursue other opportunities. Rieger had managed the International division.