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New Finance Head at Wendy's

Zacks Equity Research

The Wendy's Co. (WEN) recently declared the appointment of Todd Penegor as the chief financial officer (:CFO) and senior vice president, effective from Sep 1, 2013. Penegor will replace Steve Hare who will retire from the company. However, Hare will remain with Wendy’s till the end of the year to provide consulting services. Todd will join Wendy’s in early June to ensure a seamless transition.

Penegor has had an impressive career graph so far. He was the president of the world’s largest cereal maker Kellogg Company (K)'s U.S. Snacks Division for the past four and half years.

Penegor joined Kellogg in 2000 as senior director, Global Financial Strategy and Planning and since then has donned many important roles at Kellogg like Vice President, Finance, Corporate Financial Planning in 2001, VP and CFO of Kellogg USA in Feb 2002; VP and CFO of Kellogg's Snacks in May 2002 and VP and CFO of Kellogg Europe in 2007. Taking into account his huge experience of more than 12 years in the food service industry, Penegor can easily be labeled as a veteran in the sector.

Prior to Kellogg, Penegor had worked for Ford Motor Co. (F) and held important positions, including strategy, merger and acquisition, the controller's office and treasury.

Considering his vast know-how in finance and strategic planning, we believe that he will likely provide meaningful support to Wendy's growth and profitability, going forward.

However, the leaving CFO Steve Hare has served Wendy’s immensely since Sep 2008 and helped it to grow by working hard on Image Activation and debt refinancing. Wendy's now has outlined a multi-year turnaround plan to improve its restaurant operating margins, reinvigorate brands, revitalize same-store sales and expand internationally.

Hence, Penegor’s new role entrusts him with additional responsibility to carry on the winning momentum in a sluggish business environment.  

Wendy’s currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another restaurateur CEC Entertainment Inc. (CEC) looks attractive at current levels with a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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