David Hoffman is going to be running on Dunkin'. / Dunkin' Brands David Hoffman is going to be running on Dunkin'. / Dunkin' Brands

Dunkin’ Brands Gets a Brand New CEO

David Hoffman, the U.S. president of Dunkin’ Brands, is adding CEO to his title effective immediately. Dunkin’s retiring CEO, Nigel Travis, is moving into a new position as executive chairman of the board. Travis will continue to oversee Dunkin’ Brands’ international development, according to the company.

It’s a process that’s been in the works for 18 months, ever since Hoffman was hired at Dunkin’ with the intent to eventually take over as CEO. “We concluded that Dave needed two things,” Travis said on a special investor call addressing the executive changes. “One, time to help him develop; but secondly, he has to prove he was the right person. And we were also very clear that it shouldn’t be a gimmick. So Dave was given a tough task.”

“If you recall 2 years ago, there’s a lot of questions about Dunkin’ U.S. so he inherited that,” Travis continued. “And he’s fixed it with his skills, with his leadership, his thinking, he built on all the work we did with outside consultants, the consumer work and the Blueprint for Growth together.”

Hoffman’s compensation starts with a base annual salary of $900,000, plus an annual target cash incentive deal equal to 125% of his base pay, as well as preferred stock. As far as CEO pay packages go, it’s on the low end compared to the biggest restaurant executives. In 2017, Travis’ salary and bonus were improved by nearly $3 million in stock grants.

As Hoffman transitions into the top role, one of his top priorities will be managing labor and staffing concerns among franchisees. “We’re highly focused on creating a better culture in the restaurant with staffing and labor and everything around hiring, onboarding, and training, etc,” Hoffman said on the call. “That continues to be probably the biggest challenge for the franchisees right now, and something that’s always going to be top of mind. I think that’s very consistent with the industry.”

While Travis will continue to work with Hoffman in their new roles, he was adamant that Hoffman was now the one in charge. “I’m here to help and support Dave,” Travis reiterated. “But let’s be clear, Dave is in charge of Dunkin’ U.S. and to be honest, I haven’t, for months, done anything internationally without the two of us talking about it. There’s been several things where I’ve gone to him and said, “Dave, what do you think about this?” […] I think it’s worked well.”

“I’ve got lots of other things to do,” Travis added. “I mean, I’ve been coming less and less to the office. I’ve got a football team that takes 10, 15 hours a week already.”

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