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Former Burger King CEO is named to lead Quiznos

January 09, 2007|From Reuters

Sandwich shop chain Quiznos named Greg Brenneman, a turnaround expert who is credited with revitalizing Burger King Holdings Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc., as president and chief executive Monday.

Rick Schaden, who previously served as Quiznos' CEO and chairman, will remain in the chairman post.

Brenneman's Texas-based private equity firm, TurnWorks Inc., also has taken an equity stake in Quiznos, the Denver-based sandwich company said. Brenneman declined to give financial terms.

The announcement comes after a string of legal battles with franchisees have grabbed headlines in recent months, and Brenneman said his first task would be to build his relationship with the franchise system.

"The first thing I'm going to do tomorrow is get on the phone with franchisees," Brenneman said.

Schaden cited Brenneman's track record of working with franchisees at Burger King as one reason for his selection.

Brenneman said he became interested in Quiznos not because it needed rescuing, but because there were opportunities to boost restaurant profitability and expand internationally and into small towns in the United States.

"That's not really a turnaround as much as it is an evolution," Brenneman said.

Brenneman stepped down as CEO of Burger King in April after fewer than two years with the fast-food company.

During his tenure at Miami-based Burger King, Brenneman was credited with boosting sales at the chain and helping prepare it for an initial public stock offering.

An IPO for Quiznos, however, is not on the table at this point, he said.

"The company has incredible amounts of growth ahead of it, and we feel very comfortable doing it as a private company," he said.

Brenneman remains a major Burger King shareholder, he said, adding that he did not see that as a conflict in his new post at Quiznos because the sandwich chain operates at the higher end of the fast-food industry.

"I see them as not being that closely competitive," Brenneman said.

Brenneman added that he had been looking to make a personal investment after his departure from Burger King. At the same time, Quiznos was looking for a new CEO.

CCMP Capital Advisors, TurnWorks and Cervantes Capital all have equity positions in Quiznos, the company said.

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