BURGER KING NAMES NORTH AMERICAN PRESIDENT

CFO John Chidsey Promoted to New Role

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Burger King Corp. has promoted its chief financial and administrative officer to the new role of president-North America.

The executive, John W. Chidsey, has been

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with the company for only four months before his promotion. The move comes following the abrupt resignation in February of the fast-food company's president, Robert Nilsen, who had been in the role for a little over a year.

Reports to CEO
Mr. Chidsey, who turns 42 on June 11, will report to CEO Brad Blum and will oversee franchise and company operations, franchise sales and development, and marketing for the U.S., according to a company statement. He also will oversee Burger King Canada. For the time being, Mr. Chidsey will continue to manage the financial and information technology departments until a new CFO is hired.

"This promotion will enable us to increase our domestic focus and accelerate the company's progress," Mr. Blum said in the statement.

Marketing chief
As part of the move, Russ Klein, the chief marketing officer, will now report to Mr. Chidsey after reporting to Mr. Blum.

Burger King is closely held by equity ivestors Texas Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs Capital Partners.

Despite earlier marketing missteps, Burger King last week reported its fourth month of positive sales at stores open more than a year, on new products including a chicken sandwich, entree salads and burgers made with Angus beef, as well as promotions including a tie-in with the summer blockbuster Shrek 2. May sales were up 7.2% for franchisees and 10.1% at company-owned restaurants, a feat not seen since November 1999, according to the marketer.

Those results overlap equally negative numbers from the prior year, according to several franchisees, who are encouraged even if they maintain a wait-and-see attitude. "It looks like we've found the bottom," said one.

A new 'old' Whopper recipe
Next month, the chain will unveil a new "old" recipe of its flagship Whopper, made with ingredients more like those that built the original burger.

The chain's advertising is handled by MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami, which won the $335 million account in January.

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