Domino's US CEO is leaving the company after fixing the pizza chain's 'cardboard crust' reputation

Darren Weaver
  • Domino’s US CEO J. Patrick Doyle is leaving the company.
  • Doyle played a crucial role in Domino’s turnaround, leading the company in tech innovation and a major reputation makeover.
  • The new CEO will be Richard Allison, the current president of Domino’s International.

Domino’s US CEO is leaving the pizza chain after executing an impressive turnaround and fixing the company’s reputation.

The pizza chain announced president and CEO J. Patrick Doyle would leave the company in June, after more than eight years in charge.

Doyle became Domino’s CEO in 2010, following a period of decline at the chain. Domino’s slumped from 2006 to 2008 as customers slammed its pizza’s “cardboard crust” and ketchup-y sauce. The pizza chain launched a campaign acknowledging the problems – down to the criticism that people would prefer microwave pizza over Domino’s – with Doyle appearing in the ad to promise the chain would make changes.

The bulk of the chain’s turnaround was a long-term project under Doyle’s leadership.

“This is not a turnaround that took two or three years,” Domino’s CFO Jeff Lawrence said at the ICR Conference in Orlando on Tuesday. “Some of these things took a decade or more.”

Domino’s also made major investments in technology, with more than 60% of orders now being placed via digital channels.

Today, Domino’s has some of the most impressive financials in the industry.

The chain has grown its share of the pizza-delivery market by roughly 1% every year since 2011. It reached 27.2% in 2016, up from 21.9% in 2011. And, as other pizza chains have struggled, Domino’s announced in October that the company grew global retail sales by 14.5% in the most recent quarter.

Screen Shot 2018 01 09 at 6.04.08 PMMarkets InsiderDomino’s stock over the last 10 years

US same-store sales have increased every year since 2009, and internationally, the brand has reported 21 consecutive years of same-store sales growth.

With Doyle leaving, Richard Allison, the current president of Domino’s International, will become CEO starting July 1. The company also announced that Russell Weiner, the president of Domino’s USA, will take on the new role of chief operating officer of Domino’s and president of the Americas.

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