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Alex Macedo is leaving Tim Hortons

Axel Schwan will be president for the brand in Latin America as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Photograph courtesy of Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons, struggling with sluggish sales as sister companies Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen and Burger King flourish, said late Friday that brand president Alex Macedo has decided to leave the company.

Parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI) said Axel Schwan, who was named regional president for Tims over the U.S. and Canada in October, will join the global leadership team and will add Latin America to his responsibilities.

RBI’s existing global leadership team will oversee other international Tim Hortons markets.

Macedo, who had been in the role for two years, will no longer be president of the brand at the end of this year and will leave RBI in March.

That will end a nine-year career with RBI. Macedo first came to the company in 2011 as a marketing executive for Burger King and was named North America president two years later. He was shifted to Tims in 2017. “Alex was invaluable in establishing a strong growth trajectory for Burger King in the United States and led Tim Hortons through a period of transition early last year,” RBI CEO Jose Cil said in a statement.

Schwan, meanwhile, has been with RBI for eight years and was named global chief marketing officer for Tims in 2017 before he was given the regional president title.

Tims has seen its sales slow since its merger with Burger King in 2014. The 4,900-unit brand has seen systemwide sales slow from 9.3% growth in 2015 to just 0.7% so far in 2019. Systemwide sales declined 0.1% in the third quarter.

Same-store sales declined 1.4% in the quarter, while sister companies Burger King (4.8%) and Popeyes (9.7%) both flourished.

The brand has particularly struggled in the U.S., where it was hoped to be a major source of growth at the time of the merger. Earlier this month, Cil suggested that Tims' sales strategies weren’t effective.

“We’ve seen a little bit of fluctuation, ups and downs, in sales performance over the last few quarters, partly, I think, because we’ve been focused on somewhat short-term opportunities,” he said.

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