3 top executives are leaving Subway

The chain’s longtime chief development officer and chief financial officer are retiring amid sweeping changes in company management.
Photograph courtesy of Subway

A trio of longtime executives are leaving Subway amid a massive overhaul in company leadership that has spanned months and impacted numerous departments.

The departures include Don Fertman, the company’s chief development officer, who announced plans to retire in August after 39 years with the company. He will remain with Subway as a development consultant through the end of next year as his duties are handed over to Bill McCane, vice president of global development.

Dave Worroll, Subway’s chief financial officer, is also retiring after nearly 30 years with the company. Ben Wells will take over as CFO.

Ian Martin, senior vice president for international, is leaving Subway at the end of the year amid a reorganization of the sandwich giant’s reorganization.

“We are grateful for the hard work and dedication these individuals have brought to team Subway, each instrumental in the company’s success,” CEO John Chidsey said in a statement emailed to Restaurant Business. “We have a strong, dynamic and talented team in place for the work ahead.”

Chidsey was named CEO last month after the company operated under an acting chief executive, Trevor Haynes, for nearly 18 months following the retirement of Suzanne Greco. Chidsey became the first permanent CEO in company history that hadn’t been related to cofounder Fred DeLuca.

But the former Burger King CEO’s hiring was only part of a wave of new senior level executives at Subway over the past six months.

In October, for instance, the company named a new chief marketing officer in Carrie Walsh, along with McCane; Aidan Hay, new vice president of operations for North America; and Robin Seward, senior vice president for marketing and planning.

The massive changes come as Subway is working to emerge out of a long and frustrating decline that has seen sales fall and stores close. System sales have declined by nearly $2 billion since 2013, while unit count has declined by about 8% since 2015.

Sales and unit count declines are believed to have continued in 2019.

The Milford, Conn.-based brand has struggled in recent years, first after its shift away from value marketing and then following the shocking imprisonment of longtime company spokesman Jared Fogle.

More recently, the chain has faced uprisings from franchisees concerned about the company’s further focus on value.

Subway has focused intently on innovation, adding new low-priced sliders as it tested everything from shakes made with Halo Top low-calorie ice cream to sandwiches made from King’s Hawaiian bread.

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