Former Wendy's CMO Carl Loredo named Pizza Hut U.S. president

The marketing executive will take over the struggling pizza chain in early June, following the departure of David Graves.
Carl Loredo
Carl Loredo will take over as Pizza Hut U.S. president in June. | Photo courtesy of Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut on Monday named Wendy’s CMO Carl Loredo its next U.S. president, giving him the responsibility for turning around the struggling brand in its home market.

Loredo will take the helm at the pizza chain on June 3. He will report to Pizza Hut CEO Aaron Powell.

Loredo “comes to Pizza Hut with a strong track record of positioning brands for success and delivering results in highly competitive markets,” Powell said.

Wendy’s on Monday added U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Lindsay Radkoski to its senior leadership team following the departure of Loredo.

Former Pizza Hut U.S. President David Graves left the company in March, parent company Yum Brands said, leaving the market temporarily in the hands of Powell.

The brand’s sales have slowed markedly in recent weeks, including a 6% same-store sales decline in the first quarter. David Gibbs, Yum CEO, largely blamed tough comparisons for the results but said that Pizza Hut’s same-store sales accelerated on a two-year basis compared with the fourth quarter of last year.  

Either way, the brand is underperforming its rivals domestically, notably Domino’s.

U.S. system sales increased 1.6% last year, according to Ignite data from Restaurant Business sister company Technomic. That was lower than each of its three primary rivals, including Little Caesars and Papa Johns.

Pizza Hut has closed about 12% of its locations over the past five years, according to Technomic, and has had the lowest rate of growth over that period of the big four pizza chains.

It will be up to Loredo to reverse that. He spent more than eight years with the brand, a period in which the company became a digital marketing powerhouse and used that ability to help build breakfast and pave the way for international growth in places like the U.K.

Before Wendy’s, he worked with the marketing agency The Marketing Arm. “I love a good story, and Pizza Hut’s journey from one restaurant in Wichita, Kansas, to global cultural icon status is tremendously inspiring,” he said in a statement.

Radkoski, meanwhile, has been with Wendy’s since 2011 and worked in various roles in the investor relations and then finance departments before moving onto marketing.

UPDATE: This story has been updated to correct that Radkoski will only join Wendy's senior leadership team.

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