Burger King appoints new head of global comms

MIAMI: Burger King has hired Steven DeSutter as its SVP of corporate communications, starting immediately.

MIAMI: Burger King has hired Steven DeSutter as its SVP of corporate communications, starting immediately.

DeSutter, 50, will report directly to CEO Greg Brenneman and will be a member of the Executive Leadership Team committee.

He will oversee global corporate communications, including media and internal communications, and community relations.

DeSutter was most recently SVP of TurnWorks, a private equity and advisory firm that specializes in corporate turnarounds. Brenneman also joined Burger King from TurnWorks.

Through TurnWorks, DeSutter was also SVP corporate communications at PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting when Brenneman was CEO there.

"We often step out of TurnWorks and take permanent roles at corporations," DeSutter said, adding that they both expect their work at Burger King to be a long-term assignment.

The top corporate communications position at the fast-food giant had been open since February. In the interim, its duties were predominately handled by Clyde Rucker, SVP of diversity and chief of staff, DeSutter said. Burger King's AOR, New York-based Coltrin & Associates, picked up a lot of the communications slack during the interim between positions, DeSutter added.

The company is in the midst of some restructuring and titles may change. "They have done a fantastic job," DeSutter said, referring to Coltrin & Associates. "We'll continue to work with them, but transition some of the roles in-house and staff ourselves."

He could not comment on how many in-house people Burger King would end up with after the restructuring.

"We have a lot of new product in the pipeline and have some killer marketing, communications, and advertising programs coming up," DeSutter said. "We would characterize [Burger King] as a turnaround-in-progress with more work to do."

"Steve's deep understanding and experience with internal and external communications and his ability to work together with employees, franchisees, and the media make him the ideal choice to lead our worldwide communications team," Brenneman said in a statement.

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