USA – American multinational pizza restaurant chain Domino’s has promoted its chief operating officer Russell Weiner to chief executive officer, effective May 1. 

Weiner succeeds Ritch Allison, who will step aside from his post at the end of April but continue in an advisory role until his retirement on July 15. 

Mr. Weiner,  a Domino executive for 14 years,  has been COO and president of Domino’s US since July 2020. 

He joined the company in 2008 as executive vice president and chief marketing officer.  

During Mr. Weiner’s tenure, the company’s annual US retail sales have grown from approximately US$3 billion to more than US$8 billion.  

In addition, the digital mix has grown from 11.5% of US sales to more than 75%, US store count has grown over 25% and Domino’s US market share of QSR pizza has more than doubled. 

“We are fortunate to have a talented and experienced leader like Russell to move into the CEO role,” said David A. Brandon, who will transition from chairman to the newly established position of executive chairman on May 1.  

“Russell has played a pivotal leadership role in driving innovation and transforming many aspects of the Domino’s brand during his tenure, including reinventing Domino’s menu and advertising.” 

Domino’s also announced that Sandeep Reddy, currently executive vice president and CFO of Six Flags, has been named CFO, effective April 1. 

Q4 results fail to meet expectations 

Domino’s Pizza C-suite shake-up follows the released quarterly results that missed expectations on most metrics, sending the stock sharply lower. 

The pizza chain reported fourth-quarter net income of US$155.7 million, or $4.25 per share, up from US$151.9 million, or $3.85 per share, a year earlier.  

Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting earnings per share of $4.28. 

Net sales dropped 1% to US$1.34 billion, missing expectations of US$1.38 billion. 

Domino’s attributed the drop in revenue to currency fluctuations, an extra week in 2020 and advertising incentives from promotions.  

U.S. same-store sales rose just 1% in the quarter, dragged down by weak performance by Domino’s company-owned restaurants.  

Analysts were expecting U.S. same-store sales growth of 2.9%, according to StreetAccount estimates. 

Outside the U.S., the chain’s performance also disappointed. International same-store sales rose 1.8% in the quarter, falling short of StreetAccount estimates of 6.6%.  

Cowen analyst Andrew Charles wrote in a note to clients that he views the management shuffle as a positive change for the pizza chain. 

“We believe new leadership will bring welcomed change to Domino’s, and help the brand better evolve given digital strides by the rest of the restaurant industry,” he said. 

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