ATLANTA: Arby’s has promoted CMO Jim Taylor to president, effective immediately.
He is reporting to Paul Brown, CEO of Arby’s parent, Inspire Brands, according to a statement from the roast beef chain. Taylor will tentatively continue with his CMO responsibilities, an Arby’s representative said.
"After two years of [Lynch’s] stewardship of the brand, it was time for a new leader to help Arby’s achieve its next phase of growth," a source familiar with the matter said. "Inspire’s management team has been grooming [Taylor] for this role and the organization is thrilled to have him leading Arby’s."
Taylor joined Arby’s in 2014 as SVP of product development and innovation and moved into the role of SVP of brand advertising and activation two years later. He was promoted to CMO in 2017, according to his LinkedIn account.
Prior to joining Arby’s, Taylor worked for Darden Restaurants, the parent of Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse and Capital Grille, as SVP of enterprise strategy, innovation and marketing, among other roles. He began his career at Procter & Gamble, where he worked in finance and marketing leadership capacities during a 15-year tenure, according to a statement from Arby’s.
Arby’s has more than 3,400 restaurants in eight countries.The chain recorded 16 consecutive quarters of comparable sales growth, and last year it had record sales and profits.
Taylor is replacing Rob Lynch, who has joined Papa John’s as CEO after a tumultuous year for the pizza chain. Last summer, Forbes reported that Papa John’s founder John Schnatter used a racial slur during a "diversity media training" exercise with creative agency Laundry Service. PR shop Olson Engage and creative agency Fallon quickly resigned their work for the chain. Shares of Papa John’s are down 13% since reports about Schnatter’s use of the slur.
Taylor was not immediately available for comment.