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No Headwinds for Former Driven Brands' CEO


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Ken Walker left his post as CEO of Driven Brands just six months ago, in July, but since then he’s already joined two boards.

The first is 1.800.Radiator, an automotive aftermarket franchise that’s right in his wheelhouse, since he headed up Meineke Car Care and other car franchises as Driven’s chief.

“I was impressed with their technology,” Walker told this blogger in an interview, about 1.800.Radiator. “They’re bringing a different approach to the sales process.” His company is Walker Investments in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The second is Interim Healthcare, also a franchised business but in unfamiliar territory for Walker. “It’s a new industry to learn,” he says, but he figures aging baby boomers and increased need for care puts a shine on the sector.

Walker was known for stellar relationships with franchisees, many of whom expressed regret when he retired, but he’s keeping in touch. Before, he would take a group of franchisee leaders sailing every year, to build close franchisor/franchisee bonds.

This year, eight Meineke franchisees asked him to come along as their guest, and he arrived to speak at a franchise finance event in Minneapolis in January fresh from that trip around the British Virgin Isles. How did he like it? “That’s about as good as it can get,” he says.

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Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
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Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
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