Jollibee group’s Smashburger names former Starbucks exec as CEO

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THE Jollibee group’s fast-casual burger brand Smashburger has appointed Denise Nelsen as its chief executive officer (CEO).

Ms. Nelsen was named Smashburger’s CEO in January, making her the first CEO of the burger brand, Jollibee said in a statement on Thursday.

 She previously served as senior vice-president of Starbucks’ United States operations.

 “With her extensive experience and proven leadership in the food and beverage industry, she is set to propel the Smashburger brand into a new era of growth,” Jollibee group President and CEO Ernesto Tanmantiong said.

 “Her appointment signifies the Jollibee group’s commitment to excellence and diversity, and with all her capabilities and energy, we are confident that she will drive success for Smashburger, thereby contributing to the growth of the Jollibee Group as a whole,” he added.

As of end-2023, Smashburger has presence in eight countries. The burger brand has 236 locations, of which 210 are in the US.

 Smashburger’s products include burgers, sandwiches, turkey and black bean burgers, salads, fries, and hand-spun shakes.

“As we embark on various new brand ventures in 2024, I’m eager to support our continuous efforts to stay at the forefront of taste innovation in the industry, while collaborating with our international expansion teams to bring the joys of Smashburger to more guests worldwide,” Ms. Nelsen said.  

Jollibee saw a 16% increase in its 2023 attributable net income to P8.77 billion as the company’s revenue grew by 15.2% to a record high of P244.11 billion.

 On Thursday, Jollibee shares rose by 2.32% or P6 to P265 apiece. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave