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Focus Brands reorganizes its leadership team

The company named Kristen Hartman president of its specialty brands, including Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon, while Erik Hess will oversee Moe’s, Schlotzsky’s and McAlister’s Deli.
Focus Brands

Focus Brands, the operator of limited-service concepts like Auntie Anne’s and Moe’s, announced a series of executive changes on Wednesday as part of a broad reorganization of the company’s brands.

Kristen Hartman, currently the president of Cinnabon and Carvel, was named the president of the company’s specialty brands, where she will also oversee Auntie Anne’s and Jamba. Hartman is a 20-year industry veteran who joined the Atlanta-based Focus in 2012.

Erik Hess, meanwhile, was named president of the company’s restaurant brands, including McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s. Hess was named Moe’s president in 2019.

Beto Guajardo, a former Starbucks executive, was promoted to president of Focus Brands’ international division earlier this year. Kat Cole, president and chief operating officer of Focus, will continue to oversee both the restaurant and specialty categories and the company’s international and licensing divisions.

Anissa Mandell, meanwhile, was promoted to senior vice president of the supply chain for Focus Brands. Mandell has been in the supply chain industry for more than 25 years and helped form Focus Brand’s supply chain.

Alex Williams was named Moe’s chief brand officer. Williams most recently ran the Midwest region for Outback Steakhouse and served as vice president of operations for Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse.

Focus also named Seth Freeman Schlotzsky’s vice president of marketing. He was the former chief marketing officer for Buffalo Wild Wings and previously worked with Russell Athletic, The Coca-Cola Company and InterContinental Hotels Group.

“As we continue to move our company and brands into the future, we must invest in key talent necessary to propel our brands forward and enhance services provided to our guests and franchisees,” Focus CEO Jim Holthouser said in a statement.

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