Wendy's taps PepsiCo exec Kirk Tanner as new CEO as burger chain fights off activist pressure

A ‘now hiring’ signal exterior of a Wendy’s on October 08, 2021 in Miami, Florida.

Joe Raedle | Getty Images

Wendy’s has tapped PepsiCo veteran Kirk Tanner as its new chief govt, efficient Feb. 5, as the burger chain tries to spice up its share value and ease pressure from activist buyers.

Tanner is at present head of Pepsi’s North American beverage enterprise. Prior to his time on the firm’s drink unit, he spent three years main Pepsi’s international meals service division. In whole, he has spent greater than three a long time with Pepsi.

Kirk Tanner, chief govt officer of North America drinks for PepsiCo Inc., speaks in the course of the Bloomberg Power Players Summit in Miami, Florida, U.S., on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. 

Marco Bello | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Outgoing Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor has been on the helm of the corporate since 2016. Under his management, Wendy’s efficiently launched its breakfast menu nationwide, serving to the corporate overtake Burger King as the second-largest U.S. burger chain by gross sales.

But the chain has additionally confronted some setbacks throughout his tenure. Low-income shoppers have reduce their spending at Wendy’s, and a big franchisee declared bankruptcy in November.

Shares of Wendy’s have fallen 14% during the last yr, dragging its market cap all the way down to $3.97 billion.

Activist investor Blackwells Capital is planning to problem Wendy’s board, Reuters reported in December. The CEO transition might change the agency’s thoughts. But if Blackwells nominates its personal board candidates, it is kicking off a combat with one other activist investor: Nelson Peltz, who’s chair of Wendy’s board.

A yr in the past, Peltz dropped an effort by his agency Trian Fund Management to accumulate the corporate, signaling confidence in its efficiency as Peltz pursued a proxy combat with Disney. Trian has been an investor in Wendy’s since 2005.

Wendy’s is predicted to launch its fourth-quarter earnings on Feb. 15.

Pepsi additionally introduced Thursday that Ram Krishnan, the corporate’s chief industrial officer and head of its worldwide beverage division, will succeed Tanner as CEO of its North American beverage unit.

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