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Doyle to leave Domino’s in June

The CEO helped turn pizza chain a digital juggernaut.

Patrick Doyle, who helped turn Domino’s Pizza into a digital juggernaut and one of the best turnarounds in restaurant history, plans to retire this summer after eight years as the chain’s CEO, the company said on Tuesday.

Doyle plans to leave the company on June 30. Richard Allison, president of Domino’s International, will succeed Doyle, while Russell Weiner, president of Domino’s USA, will become the chain’s chief operating officer, a newly created role.

“One of the great honors and opportunities of my professional life was being named CEO of this incredible brand in early 2010,” Doyle said in a statement. “At that time, I set three goals for myself: I wanted us to become the No. 1 pizza company in the world; I wanted Domino’s to provide our franchisees with the best possible return on their investment by creating a dramatically better experience for our customers; and I wanted to have a leadership team in place that would be ready to create even better results into the future. I’m proud to say that we’ve accomplished all of those goals, and I will leave Domino’s knowing that it is in great hands.”

Doyle’s success can perhaps be seen best by looking at the company’s stock, which was trading in the midteens when he was named CEO in 2010. On Tuesday it closed above $206 a share—an increase of 1,200%. An investor who bought $1,000 of Domino’s stock when Doyle was named CEO would have $13,414 today.

The chain’s U.S. same-store sales have increased in at least the high single digits every quarter the past three-plus years, including an 8.4% increase in the quarter ended Sept. 10. Domestic same-store sales increased 26 straight quarters.

The chain has effectively used technology, often developed in-house, to make it increasingly easy to order a pizza from a phone, car, a watch or an Amazon Echo. Digital sales now account for more than 60% of all company sales in the U.S., and the chain's success in that department has helped usher in a period of rapid change in a restaurant industry looking to make itself more convenient.

“Patrick excelled at every role he served at Domino’s for more than 20 years, and during the past eight, he distinguished himself as one of the best leaders in the restaurant industry,” Domino's Chairman David Brandon said in a statement.

His successor, Richard Allison, will become CEO on July 1. He currently oversees more than 9,000 restaurants outside of the U.S., which have generated 95 straight quarters of same-store sales growth, including 5.1% in the third quarter. International now accounts for more than half of the company’s global retail sales.

Allison joined the company as executive vice president of international, having joined the brand from Bain & Company.

“Patrick Doyle inspired us with the vision to become the world’s market share leader in pizza, and we’ve done that,” Allison said in a statement. “Now, we’re looking to continue accelerating our growth with the support of our tremendous franchisees, managers and team members all over the world.”

Weiner, meanwhile, will be COO and president of the Americas on July 1. He’s credited for reinventing Domino’s U.S. menu, helping lead to the chain’s domestic turnaround. He also helped create Domino’s “Pizza Theater” store design and the DXP pizza delivery vehicle. He joined the company in 2008 as its chief marketing officer.

“We had an opportunity to take a ‘legacy’ brand that was almost 50 years old and make it fresh again,” Weiner said.

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