Paul Clayton: The Burger King Abdicatesby
After years of Whoppers and fries, Paul Clayton is switching to smoothies and juice. On Jan. 10, Clayton, 41, quit as president of Burger King's North American operations to become CEO of San Francisco's Jamba Juice. While shifting from a chain with 10,700 outlets to one with about 300 might seem humbling, Clayton says he "always wanted to join a small company in its early development phase." Someday, he predicts, privately held Jamba could rival his former employer.
Clayton is credited with turning around Burger King's U.S. operations by shifting the focus back to burgers during his three years at the helm. "There was a period when we were trying to sell pizza and shrimp," he says.
Now, he must persuade Americans to put down the Whopper and slurp a Kiwi-Berry Burner instead. "From a nutritional standpoint, the companies are different," concedes Jamba Juice founder and Chairman Kirk Perron, 35. "But Paul is a passionate guy who shares our vision." A Mango-A-Go-Go, anyone?