Despite its size, Subway is playing catch up to nearly every other fast food brand. What was once healthy is now nearly as passé as a cottage cheese salad. A leadership (and board) running on autopilot could be to blame.
— Jason Clampet
Subway Restaurants said Suzanne Greco is stepping down as chief executive officer and will be replaced on an interim basis by Trevor Haynes, who heads up the sandwich chain’s business development.
Haynes’ appointment took effect Wednesday, the company said in a statement. Greco, 60, will assist the transition and officially retire on June 30, becoming a senior adviser. She took the helm of closely held Subway in 2015 after the death of CEO Fred DeLuca, her older brother. She started at the company in 1973.
“Subway has been part of my life since I was 7 years old,” Greco said in the statement. “I love the brand and the company, and I always will, but it’s time for me to have more balance in my life.”
Subway has more restaurants than any other dining chain, with a count of about 43,700 across the globe. Greco told Bloomberg News in an interview last week that the company planned to shut about 500 of its U.S. shops this year, as its expands internationally. Subway closed more than 800 restaurants last year.
The chain, founded more than 50 years ago, is struggling to boost sales in the U.S. as newer, more modern rivals emerge. Greco said in the interview that Subway had been hurt by fierce competition in the U.S., including from McDonald’s Corp., whose domestic system sales rose 3.4 percent last year, according to data from researcher Technomic. Subway’s fell 4.4 percent.
“I feel very good about the strategic moves we’ve made in the last three years, and I have confidence in the future of the company,” she said in Wednesday’s statement.
—With assistance from Justina Vasquez .
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.