Greg Brenneman, chairman-CEO of the No. 2 burger chain, today announced that he will return to his private equity firm, TurnWorks, after less than two years. He took the throne at the chain in August 2004.
His successor as CEO is President-Chief Financial Officer John Chidsey, effective immediately. The company's board also named Brian Swette, an independent director, as non-executive chairman and elevated Ben Wells, now senior VP-treasurer, to chief financial officer-treasurer.
"I was brought into Burger King by my longtime friends at TPG, Bain Capital and GS Capital Partners to lead the ongoing turnaround of the company," Mr. Brenneman said in the statement. "We decided that the best time to transition leadership was prior to Burger King's initial public offering. I have tremendous confidence in John Chidsey, senior management, Burger King employees and the franchisees, and I look forward to cheering them on every step of the way as a significant shareholder of the company."
Following years of financial ups and downs and a revolving door of executives, the chain, under management brought in by the investment consortium, posted eight consecutive quarters of positive same-store sales gains.
In February, Burger King announced its IPO with hopes to raise $400 million. The company has reported only selective financial details on its performance, including net income of $49 million on $1.02 million in revenue for the last six months of 2005, up from the $45 million in net income on $969 million in revenue for the final six months of 2004.
"We are confident that now is the right time to set in motion the next phase of the company's development. John is a highly qualified leader who has served as an integral member of the management team," the board said in
Mr. Chidsey, 43, joined Burger King in March 2004 as president of the Americas before being elevated to president and CFO. He earlier was chairman-CEO for two corporate divisions at Cendant's Vehicle Service Division, which includes Avis Rent a Car and Budget Rent A Car Systems, and its financial services division, which includes Jackson Hewitt and PHH. He also was CFO of Pepsi-Cola Eastern Europe and PepsiCo World Trading Co.