Domino’s Pizza Inc. in Ann Arbor has announced Ritch Allison will retire from the board and from his role as CEO and be replaced by Russell Weiner, the company’s current COO and president. Weiner will stand for election to the board at the upcoming annual meeting of shareholders.
Also announced was the appointment of Sandeep Reddy as the company’s next CFO and the transition of David A. Brandon from chairman of the board to the newly established position of executive chairman.
“Serving at Domino’s for more than a decade, including the last four years as CEO, has been the privilege of a lifetime. During that time, we and our franchises have achieved tremendous growth and today the Domino’s brand is as strong as ever. While there is much that I will remember fondly, I am most proud of the culture that ties us all together — the ‘sauce in our veins’ that makes Domino’s so special,” says Allison.
Weiner has served as COO and president since July 2020. In this role, he has overseen the U.S. business for Domino’s, as well as the global centers of excellence teams responsible for marketing, operations, store growth and development, franchise relations, analytics and insights, and e-commerce.
Since joining Domino’s in 2008, he has been integral to driving results in the U.S. During his tenure, the company’s annual U.S. retail sales have grown from approximately $3 billion to more than $8 billion. In addition, digital mix has grown from 11.5 percent of U.S. sales to more than 75 percent. U.S. store count has grown over 25 percent and its U.S. market share of quick serve restaurant (QSR) pizza has more than doubled. He also led the company’s Pizza Turnaround campaign.
“We are fortunate to have a talented and experienced leader like Russell to move into the CEO role,” Brandon says. “Russell’s strategic and operational capabilities have been demonstrated consistently over his many years of service to our company. He has played a pivotal leadership role in driving innovation and transforming many aspects of the Domino’s brand during his tenure, including reinventing Domino’s menu and advertising.”
“He has a passion for our brand and company and a vision for our continued expansion and success worldwide. As we enter a new phase of growth for the company, we believe Russell’s energy, inspirational leadership style and earned respect of our team members and franchisees make him the right choice to take Domino’s forward.”
Reddy, the new CFO, previously served in the same role at Six Flags. He led the company’s emergence from the pandemic with strong financial results in 2021 and served as a strategic thought partner to the CEO and the leadership team in strategy development. Prior to that, as CFO of Guess Inc., he, along with the management team, led a turnaround of financial results with strong improvement in revenue, profitability, and shareholder value.
In related news, Domino’s announced financial results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full fiscal year of 2021, showing increased global retail sales of 9 percent and 11.7 percent, respectively.
U.S. same store sales increased 1.0 percent during Q4 and 3.5 percent for the full year. International same store sales increased 1.8 percent during Q4 and 8.0 percent for the full year. Q4 marked the 112th consecutive quarter of international same store sales growth. The company had fourth quarter global net store growth of 468 stores, comprised of 89 net U.S. store openings and 379 net international store openings. For the full year, the company gained 1,204 stores, comprised of 205 net U.S. store openings and 999 net international store openings.
“Throughout 2021, the strength of our franchisees and our excellent unit economics continued to deliver outstanding store and retail sales growth for the Domino’s brand,” says Ritch Allison, Domino’s outgoing CEO. “When we compare our 2021 results back to pre-pandemic 2019, the Domino’s brand grew by nearly $3.5 billion in global retail sales over the last two years. Looking forward, we remain focused on leading with innovation and leveraging our global scale to drive outstanding returns for our franchisees and shareholders.”
Revenues decreased $13.4 million, or 1 percent, in Q4 2021 compared to Q4 2020, primarily due to the inclusion of the 53rd week in the fourth quarter of 2020. The 53rd week contributed an estimated $88.4 million to revenues in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Advertising incentives of $6.5 million related to the Domino’s Surprise Frees promotion and the negative impact of changes in foreign currency exchange rates of approximately $2.5 million also contributed to the decrease in revenues. These decreases in revenues were partially offset by global same store sales growth and an increase in global store counts during the trailing four quarters, which resulted in higher supply chain and global royalty revenues.
Net income increased $3.8 million, or 2.5 percent, in Q4 2021 as compared to Q4 2020. This increase was primarily driven by a $34.3 million pre-tax unrealized gain on the company’s investment in DPC Dash Ltd, the company’s master franchisee that owns and operates Domino’s Pizza stores in China.
Subsequent to the end of Q4 2021, the company’s board of directors declared a $1.10 per share quarterly dividend on its outstanding common stock for shareholders of record as of March 15, to be paid on March 30.