John Dasburg: Ready To Cook

Into the frying pan? John Dasburg's unexpected jump from the cockpit of Northwest Airlines to Burger King fulfills his long-held desire to return to Miami. That's where the 58-year-old executive and his wife grew up, attended school, and where Dasburg held his first jobs, including delivering The Miami Herald.

But given Burger King's problems--the chain has been losing market share to smaller competitors for years--Dasburg admits his homecoming will be short. "In the broadest sense, Burger King is in need of a turnaround," says Dasburg, a flamboyant sort remembered by former colleagues for belting out arias as he walked the halls.

One of Dasburg's biggest challenges will be winning over Burger King's franchisees. They run more than 90% of its 11,150 restaurants--and have been openly critical of what they consider to be neglect by Diageo, the British conglomerate that acquired the chain in 1989. "We're going to have to bring peace to the family, if that's possible," admits Dasburg.

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