A chain with an iconic face is welcoming a new leader with experience of equal caliber to its ranks. The Wendy's Company announced Kirk Tanner has been appointed as Wendy's incoming President and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Todd Penegor. Tanner’s new title will go into effect February 5, while Penegor will depart the company the same month after serving in senior leadership positions at Wendy's for more than a decade.
"I am honored to have the opportunity to lead this iconic brand at such a pivotal time in the industry," Tanner stated. "I am energized by the future potential and expansion opportunities for the business. I look forward to working with the talented Wendy's team and franchisees to drive future growth and success."
Tanner, who has also been elected to serve on the Wendy's Board of Directors according to a press release, most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of North American Beverages at PepsiCo. With over 30 years of experience across beverages, snacks, and foodservice, he has taken on such challenges as overseeing PepsiCo's Global Foodservice division, during which time he reportedly expanded the company’s presence in foodservice through strategic partnerships, new product lines, and significant deals with major sports leagues and restaurant chains. You can read about the breadth of his experience in full here.
"We are thrilled to welcome an executive of Kirk's caliber to the Wendy's team," Nelson Peltz, Chairman of the Wendy's Board, said. "Kirk is a proven operational leader whose customer-centric mindset and broad experience positioning and growing some of the most well-known global brands make him the ideal candidate to lead Wendy's into its next phase of growth and expansion."
Penegor was also optimistic about the person he is passing the baton to.
"I am grateful to the Wendy's team for their dedication and am immensely proud of all we have achieved together," said Penegor. "I'm confident the company is in highly capable hands with Kirk at the helm. My Wendy's roots run deep, and while the time is right for me to move on as an executive of this great organization, I will forever be a supporter as a loyal customer."
Peltz also shared a few thoughts on Penegor’s own contributions during his time with the foodservice brand.
"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Todd for his tremendous contributions to Wendy's over the years. Through his leadership, Wendy's has driven strong growth in sales, earnings and new restaurant counts, forging an industry-leading partnership with the franchise community and a robust digital business. We wish him nothing but the best in his next chapter," he stated.
We congratulate all on a new step in their respective journeys and will certainly continue to eye where this latest move takes the Wendy’s brand.