Wendy's names Abigail Pringle U.S. president

The fast-food burger chain reconfigured its leadership team again, bringing back the U.S. president position 17 months after it was eliminated. E.J. Wunsch was named president of international.
Wendy's reconfigured its leadership team. | Photo: Shutterstock.

Wendy’s reconfigured its leadership structure again, as the fast-food chain on Thursday named Abigail Pringle its U.S. president and E.J. Wunsch its president of international.

The move comes about 17 months after the Dublin, Ohio-based company eliminated the U.S. president position as part of a reorganization. But Kirk Tanner, named CEO earlier this year, said dedicated presidents for its U.S. and international division would be better for the company over the long term.

“Since joining Wendy’s earlier this year, I’ve carefully reviewed our business strategy and structure, and believe dedicated presidents of our U.S. and international business segments alongside our global centers of excellence will help us accelerate growth in same-restaurant sales, digital and new restaurant development even faster,” Tanner said in a statement.

“I believe having one leader with clear accountability for development and operational performance in both the U.S. and international businesses, along with a singular voice to those respective franchise systems, will be a catalyst to accelerating growth and performance,” he added. “Fortunately, we have exceptional leaders for these important roles on the leadership today.”

The changes will be effective on June 17.

Pringle had been president, international and chief development officer since 2019 and had been with Wendy’s since 2002. She will now oversee its biggest and most important market.

Wendy’s operates more than 6,000 restaurants and is the fifth largest restaurant chain in the U.S., according to the Technomic Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report.

Pringle “has been a critical architect of our restaurant development journey and has put our international business on firm footing,” Tanner said.

Wunsch has been Wendy’s chief legal officer since he joined the company in 2016 and he has worked on various international initiatives across Australia, Asia, Europe and South America.

He will oversee Wendy’s international growth efforts. While the brand has been strong domestically, it has been behind its rivals McDonald’s and Burger King outside the U.S., with about 1,200 locations. But it has become a source of growth in recent years.

Wunsch “is a strong, strategic business leader who has been deeply involved in the business in his current role,” Tanner said.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.


Exclusive Content


Restaurants have a hot opportunity to improve their reputation as employers

Reality Check: New mandates for protecting workers from dangerous on-the-job heat are about to be dropped on restaurants and other employers. The industry could greatly help its labor plight by acting first.


Some McDonald's customers are doubling up on the discounts

The Bottom Line: In some markets, customers can get the fast-food chain's $5 value meal for $4. The situation illustrates a key rule in the restaurant business: Customers are savvy and will find loopholes.


Ignore the Red Lobster problem. Sale-leasebacks are not all that bad

The decade-old sale-leaseback at the seafood chain has raised questions about the practice. But experts say it remains a legitimate financing option for operators when done correctly.


More from our partners