CMO Makes Abrupt Exit at Domino's

Chain's President Will Fill Post During Search for Calwell's Replacement

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NEW YORK ( -- Domino's top marketing executive, Ken Calwell, is leaving the company after nearly seven years on the job. The chain's president, Patrick Doyle, will be taking over the position on an interim basis.

"We want to thank Ken for everything he has done for Domino's Pizza," David A. Brandon, the fast-feeder's CEO, said in a statement. "This included five years of his contributing to our 12-year string without a negative same-store sales comparison. We wish Ken and his family the very best in their future endeavors, and consider them great friends of Domino's Pizza."

Unexpected turn of events
Mr. Doyle will oversee the search for a new CMO, which the company said is already under way. An executive familiar with the matter said Mr. Calwell's departure was abrupt and unexpected.

While the chain's worldwide same-store sales have been positive, the domestic comparisons haven't been as strong. Domino's first-quarter same-store sales were down in the U.S. 2.4% at company-owned stores and down 5.5% at franchisee-owned stores. The disappointing performance follows a shift in the chain's creative account, which moved to Crispin Porter & Bogusky in September. Crispin developed the chain's "You Got 30 Minutes" campaign.

Domino's decision resulted in some controversy because the Miami agency also has the Burger King business. The two companies have a close relationship, however. Domino's CEO, Mr. Brandon, is a member of the Burger King board, and the companies share sponsorship of a Nascar team.

Burger King's marketing efforts, meanwhile, have been extraordinarily successful. The company has credited Crispin's "Whopper Freakout" campaign with its industry-leading same-store sales.
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