Dunkin’ Hires McDonald’s Hoffman to Lead U.S., Canada Operations

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. hired McDonald’s Corp. executive David Hoffman to lead the doughnut chain’s U.S. and Canadian operations, luring away a veteran of the world’s largest restaurant company as the battle for Americans’ fast-food spending heats up.

Hoffman, 48, will start in his new position on Oct. 3, Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin’ said Thursday in a statement. He had spent 22 years at McDonald’s and most recently served as president for the company’s high-growth markets division, which includes China, South Korea and Russia, among other countries.

U.S. fast-food companies have grown increasingly competitive, with chains piling on discounts and rolling out new items to entice consumers who are choosing to eat at home more often. Dunkin’, facing slowing same-store sales growth, introduced cold-brew coffee last month in a bid to pull in younger customers. Hoffman replaces Paul Twohig, 62, who plans to retire in the first quarter of 2017.

Hoffman notified McDonald’s of his intention to leave last week, and the company said in a filing Wednesday that his failure to execute a noncompetition agreement means he’ll forfeit all of his unvested cash and equity-incentive awards. The burger chain named Joseph Erlinger, currently chief financial officer for high-growth markets, to take over Hoffman’s position.

Dunkin’ rose 1.4 percent to $48.98 on Wednesday in New York. The shares have gained 15 percent this year, compared with a 2.4 percent decline for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Restaurants Index.

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