Domino’s Chief Executive Officer, Ritch Allison, plans to retire at the end of April 2022 and will be succeeded by Russell Weiner, who currently serves as the operations head, the company announced Tuesday.
Allison was appointed to the chief executive position in 2018. During his tenure, he focused on speeding up the pizza chain’s delivery service while navigating the challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic.
His departure comes at a time when the company is tackling rising inflation, higher commodity costs and labor shortages, which is forcing the company to raise price points for its customers. These challenges have seemingly resulted in weaker-than-expected Q4 sales, especially as the company dealt with a shortage of delivery drivers due to the surge of the Omicron variant at the end of the quarter, Reuters reported.
“We saw a significant shock from Omicron … (with) more impact in terms of reduced operating hours in our stores,” said Allison in an earnings call.
Weiner is expected to take over the reigns on May 1, 2022, and his appointment is being received well by the market.
“We see the appointment of Weiner as Domino’s next CEO to be viewed positively by investors, given… he has been a key part of Domino’s domestic turnaround and success over the past decade-plus,” RBC Capital Markets Analyst Christopher Carril said.
Domino’s, the largest pizza chain globally, saw its shares slide by 9% when the news broke but climbed back up after analysts’ noted that Weiner is a qualified replacement for Allison.