Subway Restaurants named Suzanne Greco to the role of president, elevating her status at a time when her brother and company co-founder, Fred DeLuca, is battling leukemia.
Greco, whose first role at the company was as a sandwich maker, was promoted from senior vice president to president on June 1. DeLuca, who previously held the role of president, will keep the chief executive officer title, and Greco will report directly to him.
The sandwich chain, with about 44,000 locations worldwide, has been seeing more competition from fast-casual restaurants such as Panera Bread Co. and Jimmy John’s Franchise LLC. Last year, Subway’s U.S. sales fell 3.3 percent, according to data from Technomic Inc. That compared with a 1.9 percent gain for the broader sandwich-shop industry.
Earlier this year, the 57-year-old Greco began sharing management duties with her older brother, who was diagnosed with leukemia in 2013. Subway is shuffling the roles as DeLuca, 67, continues to focus on his cancer treatments.
“Fred is still very active in the company and also continues to focus on his health,” said Kevin Kane, a company spokesman. “Fred continues to lead and set overall strategic direction for the company as CEO. As the leader of this family business, he has now shared responsibility for day-to-day operations with Suzanne.”
Greco has been involved with Subway since it was started by her brother in 1965. She was there for the opening of the first store in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and participated in the initial board meetings around her parents’ kitchen table. She became a sub-making employee -- what Subway calls a “sandwich artist” -- in 1973.
Since then, she’s held a number of positions, including head of research and development. She was responsible for the rollout of toasted subs, seasoned breads and gourmet sauces. Greco also led the introduction of breakfast at the chain. Subway’s marketing department began reporting to her in January.
Greco earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut.
“Suzanne has accomplished a great deal with Subway and I know there are many more terrific things to come,” DeLuca said in a statement.