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Collins Foods share price lower on CEO retirement news

The Collins Foods Ltd (ASX: CKF) share price has come under pressure on Friday after announcing a change of leadership.

The quick service restaurant operator’s shares are down 2.5% to $7.90 at the time of writing.

What was announced?

This morning the company revealed that managing director and chief executive officer Graham Maxwell will retire in just over 12 months on July 1 2020.

According to the release, the company intends to replace Mr Maxwell with the current chief operating officer of its Australian operations, Drew O’Malley. He caught the eye of the board after demonstrating strong capability in his current role.

The release explains that Mr O’Malley joined the company in 2017 and has been responsible for the daily operation of Collins Foods Australia’s expanding network of restaurants.

Prior to Collins Foods Mr O’Malley worked for AmRest (Poland). Here he was responsible for setting and creating world-class systems to establish AmRest as a market leader in digital and restaurant operations.

This saw him grow the KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, and Burger King brands in seven Central European countries to over US$600 million in annual sales over a period of five years as the company’s Central Europe Division President.

This experience could be especially useful in the new role given Collins Foods’ expansion in Europe.

Robert Kaye SC, Collins Foods’ Chairman said: “I am very pleased to foreshadow the appointment of Drew to the role of Chief Executive Officer effective 1 July 2020. This planned succession allows a smooth transition between Graham and Drew as they are able to draw on the working relationship that was established when Drew joined the Company in 2017.”

He added: “The Board is confident that Drew’s leadership will continue to drive the Company’s strategy of growth which includes building new KFC restaurants, developing the Taco Bell brand and strengthening organisational capability to deliver on organic growth.”

This sentiment was echoed by the outgoing chief executive officer.

Graham Maxwell said, “Drew is a strong and capable leader who has the experience and passion to lead the Company towards its goal of being a world class restaurant company. I am pleased to be handing over the leadership of Collins Foods to Drew and look forward to working closely with him over the next 12 months to ensure a seamless handover.”

Elsewhere, fellow quick service restaurant operator Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP) share price has defied the market decline and edged higher today despite there being no news out of it.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Collins Foods Limited and Domino's Pizza Enterprises Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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