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Saunders to Lead at T.G.I. Friday’s

Ian Saunders takes over as president and COO for T.G.I. Friday’s International at the beginning of this month, according to Nick Shepherd, president and CEO of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide.

Saunders was previously with Papa John’s International Inc., a pizza franchise, where he served as regional vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa. Saunders has also worked for Yum! Brands Inc, as well as other foodservice and casual-dining operations. He has a bachelor of science in Hotel and Catering Management from the University of Surrey and a master of business administration from Cranfield University. As president and COO of T.G.I. Friday’s, Saunders will direct all of the company’s international business, lead the international management team, and move forward with a global expansion strategy.

Arby’s CEO Steps Down

Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. President and CEO Tom Garrett has parted ways with the company. His role has been filled by Roland Smith, president and CEO of Wendy’s/Arby’s Group, who has taken over as interim president of Arby’s while a permanent replacement is sought.

When Wendy’s/Arby’sGroup was formed in September 2008, Garrett was promoted from president and COO of Arby’s to president and CEO.

Taco Del Mar Enters Bankruptcy Protection

Taco Del Mar Franchising Corp. is voluntarily restructuring its business under the protection of Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court in Seattle.
By restructuring debts and reorganizing, the company hopes to regain financial viability, and said it expects to continue all business operations during the process.

Only Taco Del Mar Franchising Corp. will restructure; the franchisee-owned Taco Del Mar stores’ operations will not be involved.

Freese Resigns from Ben & Jerry’s

Ben & Jerry’s has announced that Walt Freese, CEO and vice president of global brand development, is resigning from the company “to pursue other values-led business and investment opportunities.” Freese joined Ben & Jerry’s and parent brand Unilever eight years ago, and has agreed to remain at the company until the end of the March.

Send your company news to nancyw@franchisetimes.com.

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