- Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s said Leigh A. Burnside — its chief accounting officer and U.S. CFO — informed the company on Jan. 9 that she is leaving her post to become CFO of a different restaurant company that it did not identify, according to a Jan. 13 SEC filing.
- Susan M. Thurek, previously senior vice president of accounting, was appointed chief accounting officer effective Jan. 20, according to the filing.
- The hamburger chain also is eliminating the role of president, U.S. and chief commercial officer as part of a redesign of its organizational structure and, as a result, Kurt A. Kane will leave the company, the filing states. Kane’s title is listed as U.S. president and chief commercial officer on his LinkedIn page.
The Wendy’s executive shakeup and redesign comes after McDonald’s announced preparations for staff cuts last week. Starbucks announced planned leadership changes in August after it previously dissolved the role of chief operating officer, CFO Dive’s sister publication Restaurant Dive reported.
As a result of the redesign, the company stated in a press release that it anticipates its 2023 and 2024 G&A will be relatively flat versus 2022, despite elevated inflationary pressures.
“The redesign will be made in an effort to better support the execution of the company's long-term growth strategy by maximizing organizational efficiency and streamlining decision making,” according to a Wendy’s statement on the changes.
As incoming chief accounting officer, Thurek will now be responsible for all financial reporting accounting functions for the company. The finance executive has been at her current role of senior vice president of accounting since June.
The restaurant industry has been working to mitigate the harm from inflation as monthly same-store restaurant traffic has been falling compared with the year-earlier period for eight consecutive months, according to a November report from industry tracker Black Box Intelligence.
Restaurants have been raising menu prices to combat soaring ingredient costs. However, restaurant giants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Starbucks have somewhat of an advantage as their size helps chains secure fixed prices when buying ingredients from suppliers, according to reporting from CNBC.
Wendy’s plans to release its audited fourth quarter and full year 2022 results on March 1.