Dublin, OH (RestaurantNews.com) The Wendy’s Company (Nasdaq: WEN) announced the appointment of Kevin Vasconi, 59, as Chief Information Officer. He will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Todd Penegor and serve on Wendy’s Senior Leadership Team.
Prior to joining Wendy’s, Kevin served as Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer at Domino’s Pizza, Inc., a role from which he retired earlier this month. In Kevin’s eight years at Domino’s, he served on the executive leadership team and was responsible for developing and leading all domestic and international technology capabilities. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino’s achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2019 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications. In the U.S. in 2019, Domino’s generated over 65% of sales via digital channels. At Wendy’s, Kevin will assume responsibility for all aspects of Wendy’s global technology efforts, including Consumer-facing Digital, Restaurant Technology, Enterprise Architecture and Technology, and Information Security.
“Digital technology is a critical growth driver for Wendy’s today and will be in the future,” said President and CEO Todd Penegor. “Kevin Vasconi is an ideal leader to join our organization and help us advance to the next level. We are confident that his industry-leading experience will help to accelerate the growth we have already seen across technology channels in 2020, and he will lead a talented and well-resourced team focused on the substantial opportunities we see across the globe.”
“It’s incredibly exciting to join The Wendy’s Company in this next chapter of my career,” said Vasconi. “The great potential for technology transformation at Wendy’s, combined with the brand’s 50-year heritage for quality and innovation tell me that the future is bright at Wendy’s.”
In addition to his restaurant industry expertise with Domino’s, Kevin brings more than 30 years of technology experience to Wendy’s across multiple industries including automotive, hardware, software and retail. His tenure prior to Domino’s includes service as CIO and VP of Engineering for the Stanley Security Solutions division of Stanley Black & Decker; SVP & CIO, R.L.Polk & Co.; and Chief Technology Officer for a number of business units and platforms within the Ford Motor Company. Kevin received his B.S. in Technology from Purdue University.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains certain statements that are not historical facts, including statements regarding the Company’s plans for accelerated growth across technology channels. Those statements, as well as statements preceded by, followed by or that include the words “will,” “may,” “believes,” “intends,” “plans,” “expects,” “anticipates,” or similar expressions constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Reform Act”). The forward-looking statements are based on the Company’s expectations at the time, speak only as of the dates they are made and are susceptible to a number of risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These factors include, but are not limited to, the factors identified in the “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements and Projections” and “Risk Factors” sections of our Annual Reports on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. For all forward-looking statements, the Company claims the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Reform Act.
Wendy’s® was founded in 1969 by Dave Thomas in Columbus, Ohio. Dave built his business on the premise, “Quality is our Recipe®,” which remains the guidepost of the Wendy’s system. Wendy’s is best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef*, freshly-prepared salads, and other signature items like chili, baked potatoes and the Frosty® dessert. The Wendy’s Company (Nasdaq: WEN) is committed to doing the right thing and making a positive difference in the lives of others. This is most visible through the Company’s support of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® and its signature Wendy’s Wonderful Kids® program, which seeks to find every child in the North American foster care system a loving, forever home. Today, Wendy’s and its franchisees employ hundreds of thousands of people across more than 6,800 restaurants worldwide with a vision of becoming the world’s most thriving and beloved restaurant brand. For details on franchising, connect with us at www.wendys.com/franchising. Visit www.wendys.com and www.squaredealblog.com for more information and connect with us on Twitter and Instagram using @wendys, and on Facebook www.facebook.com/wendys.
BurgerFi Appoints Former Chief Operations Officer for Global Operations at Burger King to Lead Company Through its Next Chapter of Growth
BurgerFi Names Burger-Industry Veteran Julio Ramirez as CEO
PALM BEACH, Fla., Oct. 16, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OPES Acquisition Corp.’s (NASDAQ: OPES) business combination target, BurgerFi International, has named Julio Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer. Ramirez has nearly three decades of experience in the burger industry having previously served in several senior positions at Burger King Corporation, a Restaurant Brands International Inc. subsidiary, including President of the Latin America/Mexico/Caribbean division, Senior Executive of Franchise Operations and Development in North America, and Executive Vice President/Chief Operations Officer.
“BurgerFi has continued to lead the space with powerful leadership and Julio’s expertise will allow us to continue to grow within the ‘better burger’ segment,” said Ophir Sternberg, Chairman & CEO of OPES Acquisition Corp. “There is a strong market and a captive audience for fast-casual experiences. Development strategies and tactics will be key, and BurgerFi has a scalable model to grow exponentially into more locations through top institutional developers, unique growth vehicles like ghost kitchens and working with successful multi-brand operators.”
Upon leaving Burger King in 2011, Ramirez founded JEM Global, Inc., a company that specializes in assisting QSR and fast-casual brands’ with franchising and development efforts domestically and internationally. Ramirez consulted Dunkin’ Brands on its Brazil entry strategy and Buffalo Wings & Rings on its Mexico development strategy. He set up four new franchise groups in Mexico and Colombia for “100 Montaditos”, a Madrid-based Andalusian restaurant expanding into the Americas. He was also co-owner of Giardino Gourmet Salads, South Florida’s premier fast-casual concept, helping to grow the brand in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Naples, Florida.
Ramirez is highly regarded for his ability to build franchise relationships, having led Burger King’s field marketing across North America throughout the mid-1990s as part of Burger King’s successful “Back to Basics” campaign, which attained positive comparable sales for several years. In the early 2000s, he effectively managed over 1,100 franchisees in North American operations and led several key working committees, including franchise relations, operations technology and restaurant finance.
Ramirez introduced the Burger King brand in over 10 countries throughout Latin America, effectively establishing the supply chain, selecting outstanding franchisees, and building a team that opened more restaurants than McDonald’s (MCD) in 16 of 25 countries. In Brazil, for example, he developed a local team that assembled an effective supply source, signed ten franchisees in a regional network, opened an office in Sao Paulo and successfully launched the brand with an impactful marketing campaign—all of which resulted in Burger King’s first 60 Brazilian locations yielding annual sales substantially greater than the US average, in the face of tough local competition. In Mexico, he built a team that surpassed both MCD’s and KFC’s unit development, opening over 400 restaurants throughout the country.
“Today’s consumers demand an outstanding guest experience on each visit and BurgerFi not only delivers strong on its service but also owns the outstanding quality and ‘better burger’ segment,” said Julio Ramirez, newly-appointed CEO of BurgerFi. “BurgerFi has several unique brand differentiators with its premium natural ingredients, technology enhanced infrastructure and commitment to sustainability that has the potential to capture significant market share, both nationally and internationally, through a highly scalable model. I look forward to leading the team through its next chapter of expansion and the continued evolution of the brand.”
Ramirez holds a MBA from the University of Georgia. He has also completed the Advanced Management Program from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He served as an Executive Board Member of United Way of Miami-Dade County, was a founding member of the Burger King “Have it your Way” Foundation and is currently a member of the prestigious Orange Bowl Committee. Ramirez was an external director at Grupo Intur – the largest franchisee of American QSR brands in Central America with over 200 locations of 8 different brands across several nations.
In celebration of Julio Ramirez’s appointment as CEO and in conjunction with National Boss’s Day, today Friday, October 16th, BurgerFi will be offering the gourmet CEO Burger paired with its urban-style fries as a $10 pairing. Visit www.burgerfi.com to find the nearest participating location.
About OPES Acquisition Corp.
OPES Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: OPES, OPESW) is a special purpose acquisition company headquartered in Miami and organized for the purpose of effecting a merger, asset acquisition, stock purchase or other similar business combination with one or more businesses or entities. For more information, please visit www.opesacquisitioncorp.com.
Established in 2011, BurgerFi is among the nation’s fastest-growing better burger concepts with approximately 125 BurgerFi restaurants domestically and internationally. The concept was chef-founded and is committed to serving fresh food of transparent quality. BurgerFi uses 100% natural American angus beef with no steroids, antibiotics, growth hormones, chemicals or additives. BurgerFi placed in the top 10 on Fast Casual’s Top 100 Movers & Shakers list in 2020, was named “Best Burger Joint” by Consumer Reports and fellow public interest organizations in the 2019 Chain Reaction Study, listed as a “Top Restaurant Brand to Watch” by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2019, included in Inc. Magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List, and ranked on Entrepreneur’s 2017 Franchise 500. To learn more about BurgerFi or to find a full list of locations, please visit www.burgerfi.com, ‘Like’ BurgerFi on Facebook or follow @BurgerFi on Instagram and Twitter.
BurgerFi® is a Registered Trademark of BurgerFi IP, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of BurgerFi.