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Individuals influencing the direction of the restaurant industry


Josh Kobza named CEO of Restaurant Brands International

The 11-year company veteran, who had been COO, will take over for José Cil on March 1. Cil will remain with the Burger King and Tim Hortons parent company for one year as an advisor.


Papa Johns COO steps down

Max Wetzel, who has worked with the company since 2019, is leaving to take a CEO position “at another company.”

Debbie Stroud, who also spent 27 years with McDonald's, will take over operations at the 900-unit Whataburger.

The casual-dining operator also named Jeremy Shelton to the role of executive corporate culinary director.

Butler, the latest addition to Brinker's revamped C-suite, previously managed the supply chain at KFC for Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions.

The former is the chain's new COO, while the latter will now be responsible for all marketing.

Meline has been the chain's VP of brand management since September 2021. He replaces Rita Patel, who became CMO at sister brand Arby's.

Leigh Burnside served previously as CFO or Wendy's U.S. She replaces Darrell Snygg, who is retiring.

Sullivan was the longtime top chef at California Pizza Kitchen, where he worked with Red Robin CEO G.J. Hart.

Fitzgerald brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience to the role.

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