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CANTON, Mass. (Blue MauMau) - Several hours after the Boston Globe and Blue MauMau placed calls to Dunkin' Donuts to find out if Jon Luther was vacating the CEO position, Mr. Luther Tuesday night issued this message to Dunkin' Brands franchise owners.
Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2008 10:xx PM
Subject: Important Message from Jon Luther: There comes a time...
TO ALL DUNKIN' BRANDS FRANCHISEES/LICENSEES,
There comes a time in every organization when its leader has an obligation to look into the future to determine when the baton must pass to a successor to carry on the good work of the enterprise.
This is such a time. Over the past six years, we have evolved from "sleepy"
regional brands to a growing and increasingly recognized global force. Like most smart and forward-thinking companies, we have taken proactive steps to prepare for the future by creating an enhanced 5-year plan for Dunkin' Donuts and will soon do the same for Baskin-Robbins. We have spent many hours working to reset the bar to best position our company to manage through and stay out in front of this very challenging economy and our relentless competition. We have rebuilt our brand teams and infrastructure to better prepare ourselves for tomorrow. All in all, we have a positive outlook and direction, and I am confident that the steps that we have taken will help us to facilitate our growth moving forward.
With that in mind, since early this Spring, I have been working closely with our Board of Directors to put in place a succession plan that would ensure the long-term stability and success of our enterprise. After many months of consideration and preparation, I have decided that now is the time to pass the baton to another leader to execute our strategic plans. This new leader will become the CEO of Dunkin' Brands. I will remain active in the achievement of our strategic goals as Executive Chairman of the Board and transfer my role of CEO to Nigel Travis.
Most recently, Nigel was the President and CEO of Papa John's, a pizza chain with annual system wide sales of $2.1 billion and more than 3,300 restaurants throughout the U.S. and 29 international markets. Under Nigel's leadership, Papa John's accomplished outstanding results, with industry leading comp sales, consistent earnings growth and excellent franchise relationships.
During Nigel's four-year tenure with the company, Papa John's online sales tripled through the innovative use of technology. In addition, he helped position the company's international business as a major growth platform and oversaw the successful roll-out of several new products, including Papa's Pan Pizza.
Prior to Papa John's, Nigel was with Blockbuster in increasing roles of responsibility, including serving as company president and chief operating officer. Before that, he was with Burger King, first as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and then as Managing Director, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Nigel is a native of the U.K. and a U.S. citizen. He will be moving to Massachusetts with his family from his current home in Louisville, Kentucky.
Nigel will inherit brands that are powerful, respected and recognized around the world, and his appointment will further strengthen the overall senior leadership team at Dunkin' Brands. Solid brand leaders in Will Kussell and Srinivas Kumar, with dedicated support from seasoned executives Joe Scafido, Kate Lavelle, Steve Horn and Steve Caldeira, all now reporting to Nigel and, of course, a Chairman of the Board who will ensure that our strategic direction is on course by providing oversight and counsel as we execute both our strategic and annual plans.
So I am not going anywhere; I will still be with Dunkin' Brands to provide the guidance and stability required throughout this transition. Nigel officially joins us on January 6th, and Will, Srini and I look forward to introducing him to you.
Due to an unexpected story posted on the Boston Globe website tonight, we are sending you this information a bit earlier than planned. But I wanted you to have all the facts directly from me before you heard about this news in the media.
At 2:00 p.m. (EST), tomorrow, Wednesday December 10, I will be hosting a conference call for all franchisees to answer any questions or concerns that you might have. I will hold additional conference calls for our international franchisees and licensees on Thursday to best accommodate everyone's time zones, although our international folks are welcome to call in to tomorrow's 2:00 p.m. call as well.
For your information, I'm attaching the press release that is going out early tomorrow morning to formally announce this news to the public. As always, please refer all inquiries from the media to our Communications Department at 781-737-5200.
For me, as Chairman, I am honored and privileged to hold the position as the highest officer of the Dunkin' Brands enterprise and on behalf of the Board of Directors, being able to utilize my experience and wisdom to provide guidance, coaching and advice to Nigel and our senior team as they continue to advance and strengthen the enterprise.
The two page press release that will be sent out Wednesday morning can be read here. (pdf)
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