Wendy's announces assignment shuffle

by Erica Shaffer
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DUBLIN, Ohio – Change is in the air at The Wendy's Company. Motivated to drive growth and restaurant development, the company made changes to the executive assignments among members of its Senior Leadership Team.

Brandon Solano will succeed Craig Bahner as chief marketing officer of the company. Bahner will leave his post in early 2015. Solano, who most recently served as senior vice president of marketing, joined Wendy's in July 2014. Before joining Wendy's he held senior marketing, operations and development positions with Domino's Pizza, The Hershey Company and Procter & Gamble.

Todd Penegor, senior vice president and CFO, has been promoted to executive vice president, CFO and International. The company said its International division is poised for growth and aims to deliver sustainable performance in key strategic markets in the future. Penegor's leadership of the Development and IT functions is a good fit with company's increasing focus on restaurant development and growth enabled by technology.

Bob Wright, COO, has also been promoted to executive vice president, COO. He will keep his current responsibilities for company and franchise restaurant operations while managing a larger portfolio of customer facing responsibilities, including in-restaurant technology, restaurant facilities and the continuous improvement of customer service.

"Since joining The Wendy's Company last year, Todd and Bob have made extraordinary contributions to the Company and our franchisees," said Emil Brolick, president and CEO. "As we continue the transformation of the Wendy's brand, the Board of Directors and I have the highest confidence that Todd's and Bob's elevated leadership roles will spur even greater growth and performance."

Additionally, Brandon Rhoten was promoted to vice president of Digital Experience. Rhoten currently leads the company's digital marketing efforts, and he is credited with developing award-winning marketing programs for the Wendy's brand. In his new role, Rhoten will be more involved with the company's realignment of investments into technology and customer development as Wendy's accelerates development of mobile ordering and payment, customer loyalty and brand engagement.

"Wendy's brand relevance and future growth will depend on increasing consumer access to the brand through restaurant development, and will be enabled by consumer-preferred technology investments," Brolick said. "We are fortunate to rely on the in-house expertise of Abigail Pringle and Brandon Rhoten to lead our efforts in the areas of restaurant development and the customer's digital experience, and I'm delighted to recognize their continued advancement within The Wendy's Company."
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