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Sonic realigns top leadership for firmer grip on tech

sonic drive-in

Sonic has promoted marketing veteran Todd Smith to president in what the drive-in chain calls a re-alignment to generate better results through digital technology.

As part of the shuffle, John Budd was promoted to executive vice president, where he will be responsible for technology support across the 3,500-unit chain. Budd, who continues to serve as chief development and strategy officer, led Sonic’s recent rollouts of in-store technologies.

Michelle Britten was promoted to vice president and chief accounting officer, from VP and controller. She is now responsible for all accounting and financial-reporting functions.

Smith, a three-year veteran of Sonic, retains his title of CMO. Digital and conventional advertising operations and menu development will continue to report to him, but his new job will extend to oversight of the chain’s technology strategies and platforms.

The company expressly said that the changes were undertaken to facilitate the embrace of digital technology.

“Technology permeates every aspect of our business,” explained CEO Cliff Hudson. “No longer can the technology organization exist in one group, and our re-alignment today signifies the realities of technology design, testing and implementation as a critical part of many key functions of the business.”
 

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