Pizza Hut announced Monday that it hired former Wendy’s global CMO Carl Laredo as its new U.S. president.

He will officially begin his role on June 3.

“I love a good story, and Pizza Hut’s journey from one restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, to global cultural icon status is tremendously inspiring,” Loredo said in a statement. “It is an honor to lead Pizza Hut’s U.S. business and be a part of taking this beloved brand forward for the next generation of customers. I am eager to partner with Aaron and the leadership team, our best-in-class franchisees and our talented team members around the country to unlock growth for this powerhouse brand.”

Loredo spent 8.5 years with Wendy’s, rising from vice president of brand marketing in January 2016 to his final role as global CMO, which he served as for about a year. During his tenure, he was integral in building the company’s digital business and producing a variety of marketing and content campaigns. During the first quarter, the burger giant’s U.S. digital sales increased more than 15 percent versus Q4 and 35 percent against Q1 2023. The acceleration pushed sales mix to over 16 percent. Wendy’s finished the quarter with more than 40 million rewards members and more than 6 million monthly active users, up 40 percent versus Q4.

The industry veteran will join a Pizza Hut U.S. business that experienced sluggish sales to start this year. During Q1, domestic same-store sales declined 6 percent as the company lapped the launch of Melts and Big New York Pizza in Q1 2023. However, the brand’s two-year comp stack was positive and improved compared to Q4. The chain is in the process of onboarding some pieces of technology. In Q1, it integrated a new consumer data insights system and continued to roll out Yum! Brand’s proprietary e-commerce platform.

Pizza Hut finished Q1 with 6,608 restaurants nationwide, making it the second-largest pizza chain in America, only behind Domino’s.

When Loredo starts, he will report to Pizza Hut CEO Aaron Powell.

“Carl comes to Pizza Hut with a strong track record of positioning brands for success and delivering results in highly competitive markets. He is adept at helping brands show up in novel and authentic ways at the right intersection of customer need and culture,” Powell said in a statement. “The Pizza Hut team is delighted to welcome Carl, who will bring a passion and focus that will take us forward to the brand’s next bright chapter.”

Loredo replaces David Graves, who worked at Yum! for 8.5 years and as Pizza Hut U.S. president for more than two years. His job at Wendy’s will be filled by U.S. CMO Lindsay Radkoski. She will join the burger company’s senior leadership team and assume additional global marketing responsibilities.

Employee Management, Franchising, Pizza, Story, Pizza Hut