Wendy's CEO Emil Brolick to Hand Reins to Finance Chief in 2016

Wendy’s Co. Chief Executive Officer Emil Brolick will step down from running the third-largest U.S. burger chain next year, handing the reins to Chief Financial Officer Todd Penegor.

The transition will begin in the first quarter of 2016, ahead of Brolick’s retirement in May, the Dublin, Ohio-based company said in a statement Monday. Wendy’s is currently seeking a CFO to replace Penegor, 50.

Under Brolick, Wendy’s has remodeled its dated restaurants to be more competitive with fast-casual chains like Chipotle. He also has streamlined the business by selling Wendy’s bakery division and putting more of its locations in the hands of franchisees. The changes have helped: Same-store sales in North America rose 2.2 percent in the most recently reported quarter, outpacing those of McDonald’s Corp.

Penegor joined Wendy’s after stints at Ford Motor Co. and Kellogg Co., but his Wendy’s roots are deep. His father was a Wendy’s franchisee, owning one restaurant in Iron Mountain, Michigan.

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