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Long John Silver’s promotes its COO to CEO

Blain Shortreed, a longtime Yum Brands executive, will run the quick-service seafood chain as it prepares for digital growth.
Long John Silver's CEO
Photo courtesy Long John Silver's

Long John Silver’s promoted its president and chief operating officer to CEO, the chain announced Tuesday.

Blain Shortreed, who joined the quick-service seafood chain two years ago, spent nearly 30 years in a variety of leadership roles at Yum Brands, including vice president of operations for Pizza Hut USA and managing director of Pizza Hut’s Middle East/North Africa Division.

In June 2019, Shortreed was promoted to president of Long John Silver’s, adding marketing, human resources and development to his responsibilities.

The chain has nearly 700 units nationwide and is readying for reinvention, according to a news release.

“While our core offerings still enjoy popularity with people across the country, we knew it was time for new investments and leadership to ensure we’re serving treasured moments to every guest,” Rick Duffy, chairman of the brand’s board of directors, said in a statement. “Based on the progress we’ve made since Blain came aboard, we’re confident he is the right person to lead this charge of change.”

Long John Silver’s has closed underperforming corporate and franchised locations in recent years and is focused on renewing its relationships with its franchisees, as well as investing in technology.

“We’re moving the brand from surviving to thriving,” Shortreed said in a statement. “We’re restructuring the business for growth; reinvesting in assets; strengthening training, development, marketing and technology; and focusing on giving our core consumers—and new customers—a better experience only Long John Silver’s can provide.”

During the pandemic, Louisville, Ky.-based Long John Silver’s has focused on its drive-thru business, delivery and Family Meal offerings.

“Our ability to adjust course and enhance our drive-thru and delivery capabilities was the game changer,” Shortreed said.


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