Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A changing of the guard at Dunkin'

Now we know where Nigel Travis is going. Dunkin' Brands, the franchisor of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, has just named the former Papa John's chief as CEO, replacing Jon Luther. The latter will continue with the company as executive chairman.

Papa John's said Thursday that Travis was leaving at the end of the month, but didn't say where he was heading.

During Travis' tenure, Papa John's distinguished itself in many ways. The chain's most remarkable achievement during the Travis Era was pushing its internet sales beyond the $1 billion market, a benchmark of sorts for the industry. More recently, the franchisor set a model for how the home office should help its franchisees during the downturn. Papa John's rolled back the price of cheese it sold to the licensees, and helped them out with loans.

Luther, the announcement noted, is at the traditional retirement age of 65. It's great that a man that capable and classy still be part of the industry.

My favorite Luther story (and, for the sake of full disclosure, I regard him as a friend): When Jon's son got married a few years back, he asked Jon Sr. to be his best man.

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