Today, Suzanne Greco announced that she is retiring as CEO of Subway® effective June 30, 2018. Ms. Greco assumed the role of CEO of the privately held company that her brother (Fred Deluca) founded, after his death in 2015.
After decades of growth in the number of franchises until Subway had more franchises in the United States than any other quick-serve franchisor, some questioned whether the market had been over-saturated. The brand faced increased competition from alternatives such as Chipotle and Panera Breads. Public relations nightmares, included a law suit alleging that the “footlong” sandwich was only 11 inches long, the revelation that Subway’s bread included a chemical used to make yoga mats and news that Subway’s pitchman Jared Fogle was sentenced to 15 years in prison for child-pornograpy. In response to a 25% drop in customer traffic, Subway had planned to bring back the $4.99 footlong deal this past January and February. In response over 400 franchisees reportedly signed a petition protesting the plan claiming that “The national promotional focus over the past five years … has decimated [us] and left many franchisees unprofitable and even insolvent,” [see New York Post Article].
Ms Greco Wrote:
It is with mixed emotions that I write this note to all of you today. After more than 40 wonderful years as a Subway® employee, I have made the decision to retire as of June 30, 2018. Subway® has appointed Trevor Haynes, Chief Business Development Officer, as interim CEO, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the company, effective today. As I’m sure those of you who know Trevor will agree, he is well equipped to serve as the interim CEO while the company launches a search for a permanent CEO, which will begin immediately. Trevor and I will work together to ensure a smooth transition between now and the end of June, at which point I will serve as a Senior Advisor to the company. Under Trevor’s interim leadership, Subway® will continue the initiatives and activities that are currently underway, while also evolving its strategy to remain competitive in the industry and to drive traffic into stores.
Trevor is an experienced leader with deep knowledge of the company and has held numerous leadership roles at Subway®. Trevor is a member of our Executive Leadership Team and has been with Subway® since 2006. He joined Subway® as Territory Manager in Australia, moved to the UK in 2009 to serve as the Senior Area Development Manager for the U.K. and Ireland and in 2014 joined the team in Milford, Connecticut, to serve as the Global Director of Operations. Trevor received his Master’s degree in International Management from Queensland University of Technology.
Subway® has been part of my life since I was 7 years old. I love the brand and the company, and I always will, but it’s time for me to have more balance in my life. 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.
Trevor Haynes has sub-stantial challenges ahead of him.