Arby's names Diana Petrovich-Tao COO

BK veteran tapped as Arby's seeks turnaround

Arby’s Restaurant Group Inc. has named former Burger King executive Diana Petrovich-Tao as chief operating officer of the 3,700-unit sandwich chain.

Petrovich-Tao, 51, succeeds Michael Lippert, who left the Atlanta-based company in June. She most recently was Burger King Corp.’s vice president for global training and development and earlier worked with Mrs. Fields Brands.

“This appointment is a key component of our turnaround plan, as we work to grow sales and profits by enhancing the Arby’s customer experience through exceptional service in our restaurants,” Hala Moddelmog, Arby's president, said in a statement Friday.

Petrovich-Tao worked at Burger King from 2003 until earlier this year and has held leadership positions at Mrs. Fields Brands and Kinkos Inc. She also has worked for Taco Bell Corp., Packaging Corp. of America, Coca-Cola Enterprises and Castle & Cooke Foods.

Arby's, a division of Wendy's/Arby's Group Inc., has struggled in recent years to reverse falling sales and traffic. In the most recent quarter ended Oct. 3, same-store sales were down 5.9 percent at the chain's North American units.

In May, Arby's appointed Moddelmog as president to spearhead the 44-year-old brand's turnaround. The chain recently said it would look to drive sales with lower-priced options, such as a Junior Deluxe roast beef sandwich and a $2.99 meal deal.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected] [3].