Wendy's Appoints Kirk Tanner President, CEO



Last week Wendy’s announced it has hired Kirk Tanner as president and CEO, effective Feb. 5. Those positions were previously held by Todd Penegor, who will depart the company and board of directors after serving as senior leadership at the chain for over a decade.

Tanner joins Wendy’s with more than 30 years of experience in the beverages, snack foods and food service categories. He most recently worked at PepsiCo, where he was CEO of North American Beverages.

Given the QSR industry’s increasing focus on beverages (think CosMc, Panera’s Unlimited Sip Club and the sheer volume of coffee promotions), Marketing Daily asked Morningstar Analyst Sean Dunlop if Tanner’s previous experience could mean Wendy’s has plans to up its drink game. “Beverages are a big extension of the breakfast business, habitual, and profitable, said Dunlop. “To be able to grow that platform and better compete for drink-first occasions -- or lose fewer food-driven occasions because of inadequate beverage options -- would be huge.”



During his tenure at PepsiCo, Tanner oversaw the $26+ billion business unit, which accounts for an estimated 30% of PepsiCo's overall business. His responsibilities consisted of driving operational performance and revenue growth, as well as the development and launch of new products and  securing new markets. Tanner previously oversaw PepsiCo’s Global Foodservice division.

"Kirk is a proven operational leader whose customer-centric mindset and broad experience positioning and growing global brands make him the ideal candidate to lead Wendy's into its next phase of growth and expansion,” said Nelson Peltz, chairman of the Wendy's Board in the release.

Tanner has also been elected to serve on the company’s board of directors.


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