Leadership

Toppers Pizza founder Scott Gittrich relinquishes CEO seat to Adam Oldenburg

Gittrich will take the role of board chairman after passing the baton to Oldenburg, his chosen successor.
Toppers Pizza
The Wisconsin-based pizza chain is known for its Topperstix, wings and desserts./Photograph: Shutterstock.

Toppers Pizza founder Scott Gittrich is stepping down from the CEO seat after more than three decades, taking a new role as chairman of the board, the company announced Thursday.

Taking the reins as CEO will be Adam Oldenburg, a franchisee who has been in the line of succession for some time.

“After several years of record performance, this leadership transition marks an exciting new chapter for Toppers,” Gittrich said in a statement. “Along with guiding the brand for over three decades, I have also had the privilege of preparing Adam to succeed me as CEO.”

Gittrich grew the quick-service pizza chain from one unit in Whitewater, Wis., in 1991 to more than 70 across 16 states.  The company said the system has $1.1 million in average unit volume, and boasts 18 consecutive quarters of same-store sales increases. In 2022, Toppers had sales of nearly $82 million, up 5.3% over the prior year, according to sister research firm Technomic.

In 2021, investment firm Great Plains Capital LLC took a minority stake in the brand.

“With several years of record performance and an exceptional leadership team in place, the future of Toppers Pizza is incredibly promising,” added Gittrich in the statement. “The remarkable growth potential, combined with our proven track record and enduring culture, positions Toppers Pizza as a standout brand.”

Oldenburg started as a delivery driver for Toppers more than 17 years ago, and moved into management as corporate operations director, and most recently as vice president of operations. He is also part of an ownership group that operates five Toppers locations and was recently named Franchisee of the Year for the chain.

Oldenburg described himself as “a pizza guy at heart.

“With Scott’s unwavering support, we’re excited to keep up the momentum for Toppers and drive new heights of success and achievement,” he said in a statement.

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