McDonald's changes its supply chain leadership

Executive Summary: New executives with Chili’s, Corner Bakery, Noodles & Company, CKE Restaurants, Cornerstone Restaurant Group, Dig, Skyfire, Vintner’s Resort, Hathaway’s Restaurant and Skyfire.
Executive Summary
Image by Nico Heins

McDonald’s is making a big change to its North American supply chain leadership. Bob Stewart, chief supply chain officer for North America, will retire as of Oct. 1 this year, the company said this week.

Cesar Piña, currently corporate vice president, global strategic sourcing for food, will take his place. Stewart had worked with the Chicago-based burger giant for 30 years. Piña has been with McDonald’s for 10 years.

Cesar Piña

Cesar Piña/Photo courtesy of McDonald's

Here are this week’s other executive changes:

Erin Hasselgren is the new president at Corner Bakery. It was a promotion for Hasselgren, who was previously chief operating officer and has been with the brand for nearly two decades. He is the first president under Dallas-based SSCP, which acquired the chain in February.

‌In addition, Corner Bakery also welcomed back Becky Foulk as its corporate chef to lead the brand’s culinary strategy and menu innovation. She previously led the brand’s culinary vision for 13 years.

erin hasselgren

Erin Hasselgren/Corner Bakery

Noodles & Company has named Scott Davis to the role of chief concept officer. Previously the chief concept officer for Panera Bread, where he worked for 13 years, Davis was most recently president and chief concept officer of CoreLife Eatery, a fast-casual bowl concept with 46 units.

‌Noodles CEO Drew Madsen said in a statement, “We believe Scott’s experience evolving established restaurant chains at scale, plus his most recent experience helping create and grow a new fast-casual startup concept, are exactly the skills we need to help strengthen brand relevance through the core menu and LTO innovation and drive sustained, profitable growth at Noodles.”

Justin Falciola is the new chief technology & growth officer for CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc., parent to the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands. He comes to Franklin, Tennessee-based CKE from Papa Johns International, where he has served as chief insights and technology officer since 2018.

Earlier this year, CKE announced a separation of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. brands and introduced a leadership structure with three teams, each led by a president. Advancing the brands’ digital strategy will be a major focus of the growth plan, the company said.

‌The fast-casual Dig brand has two new vice presidents. Jessica Serrano has been named Dig’s chief marketing officer. She joined the company in 2022 as vice president of marketing, and brings a wealth of experience from prior positions at Burger King and Taco Bell.

Jasmine Chiaramonte is Dig’s new chief financial officer. She also joined Dig first in 2022 as vice president of finance. She was previously a VP of finance at Honeygrow.

‌The Chicago-based Cornerstone Restaurant Group has a new leadership team. Founder and CEO David Zadikoff is stepping down and passing the reins to his son, Joshua Zadikoff, who is taking the CEO suite. The junior Zadikoff started at Hyatt Hotels, but then joined the family business and has worked various positions, becoming president in 2018.

‌In addition, Danny McGowan was named president and COO. He joined CRG in 2017 as vice president of operations. CRG is known for a partnership with Michael Jordan to oversee five Michael Jordan Steak House locations, as well as two MJ23 Sports Bar & Grill units. The restaurant group also partners with chef Bill Kim on the Urbanbelly concept and Kim’s Ramen Bar, as well as Hi-Fi Chicken & Beer, Brasserie 1783 (in South Korea) and Table at Crate at a Crate & Barrel outlet in Oak Brook, Illinois.

Vintner’s Resort in Santa Rosa, California, has hired chef Sergio Howland as the resort’s executive chef. He is charged with leading the resorts food and beverage program through a resort-wide transformation, including the fine-dining restaurant John Ash & Co., as well as The Front Room Bar and Lounge and River Vine. A native of Mexico City, Howland’s previous experience includes Auberge du Soleil in Napa, California; Experanza in Los Cabos; the Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Palm Beach, Key Viscayne and Cancun; and The Sebastian in Vail, Colorado. He was most recently corporate chef of Amici Restaurants in San Diego.

Sergio Howland

Sergio Howland/Vintner's Resort

Mckitrick Burse has been named executive sous chef of Hathaway’s Restaurant & Lounge at Little America Hotel & Resort in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Burse was previously executive sous chef at Sun Valley Lodge, a sister property.

Mckitrick Burse

Mckitrick Burse/Hathaway's Restaurant & Lounge

Diego Sobrino is the new executive chef of SkyFire at Bishop’s Lodge, in the Auberge Resorts Collection in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Sobrino was previously at sister property Hacienda Alta Gracia in Costa Rica.

Diego Sobrino

Diego Sobrino/SkyFire at Bishop's Lodge

Chili’s parent Brinker International promoted longtime employee Jeremy Linker to SVP of brand finance, effective June 27. Linker has been with Brinker for more than 20 years in various finance roles. In his most recent position as VP of brand finance and construction, he implemented a more precise pricing strategy and led a reinvestment of funds into maintaining Chili’s restaurants. Linker will report to Mika Ware, who will become CFO on June 27.

Jeremy Linker

Jeremy Linker/Chili's

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