Patrick Doyle named executive chairman at Restaurant Brands International

The former Domino’s CEO will make a $30 million investment in the owner of Burger King, Popeyes, Tim Hortons and Firehouse and will get options worth close to $200 million.
RBI Patrick Doyle
Burger King owner Restaurant Brands International named Patrick Doyle executive chairman. / Photograph: Shutterstock.

Patrick Doyle was named executive chairman of Restaurant Brands International on Wednesday, bringing the former longtime Domino’s Pizza CEO back to the restaurant industry four years after his retirement.

Doyle guided Domino’s during a remarkable growth period between 2010 and 2018, a period during which the company became the world’s largest pizza chain, more than doubling system sales while its stock price grew 20-fold.

He will now be tasked with speeding growth at a multi-concept restaurant company. RBI operates Tim Hortons, Burger King, Firehouse Subs and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen. As part of the deal, he will buy $30 million worth of company stock.

He will also get stock and options that vest over at least five years that are worth $200 million based on the closing price Tuesday. Yet Doyle only earns that if the stock price grows by about 10% per year over the next five years, meaning he stands to earn far more than that.

RBI’s board said in a release that the compensation package “reflects his unmatched performance as one of the world’s most successful QSR leaders and is fully aligned with shareholder interests” because they won’t be fully realized unless the company makes “significant improvement” in its performance.  

(Read more about Doyle’s Domino’s tenure.)

Daniel Schwarz, RBI’s former CEO and former executive chairman, will remain on the RBI board of directors, as will Alex Behring, the co-founder and co-Managing Partner of 3G Capital, the private-equity firm that spearheaded the company’s creation. Both had been co-chairmen of the board.

The two called Doyle’s appointment a “huge addition” to the RBI leadership team. “This is part of our long-term strategy to accelerate growth in our restaurant brands and profitability for our franchisees and drive shareholder returns that we believe the company is very capable of delivering,” Schwartz and Behring said in a statement.

Jose Cil, CEO of RBI, said he is “excited to work closely” with Doyle “to build the most- loved restaurant brands in the world.”

“This includes our intention to rapidly accelerate growth in the company and deliver on plans that result in exceptional service for our guests, and excellent returns for our franchisees and for all shareholders,” Cil said in a statement.

Doyle took a break from the industry after his retirement. In 2019 he became involved in an investment partnership with the private-equity firm Carlyle Group. “I love the restaurant industry,” he said in a statement. “These are four exceptional brands with real opportunities for accelerated growth.”

He said he will work closely with the brands, Cil, the RBI team and board to “create one of the most compelling growth stories in the industry.”

Doyle will purchase 500,000 shares of RBI at a value of $30 million. He has agreed to maintain his investment for five years to demonstrate “his confidence in the shareholder value he is being retained to help create.”

The Doyle deal is the latest earthquake to shake the RBI world, following its acquisition last year of Firehouse Subs and its overhaul of Burger King, including a $400 million investment in marketing and remodels.

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