Potbelly Hires Robert Wright as CEO/ President
Potbelly Corp., hired Robert D. Wright to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective July 20, 2020. He succeeds Alan Johnson.
Wright has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer of The Wendy’s Company, where he ran operations for over 6,000 company and franchise restaurants located in the U.S. and Canada. He has a strong record of business transformation throughout his career, where he has leveraged brand strengths to revitalize top-line sales and profit growth through marketing, system-wide service standardization, and quality initiatives. In addition to Wendy’s, Wright has held various corporate roles at other high-profile restaurant chains including Charley’s Philly Steaks, Checker’s Drive-In Restaurants Inc., and Domino’s Pizza Inc.
"Bob’s ability to quickly identify and leverage brand strengths, as well as his substantial operations expertise, make him uniquely equipped to lead Potbelly during this critical time for our company," said Joe Boehm, Potbelly’s Lead Director. "...Potbelly will greatly benefit from his vision, leadership and drive to successfully transform our business. Bob also completed a transition of 1,100 company restaurants to franchise ownership during his time at Wendy’s, and we expect to leverage this experience as we return to system growth."
Wright‘s immediate focus will be on accelerating the company's ongoing business turnaround. This includes improving the on- and off-premise guest experience, enhancing the brand positioning, and reviewing the company's cost structure and asset base.