Abell, daughter of Donatos' founder, assumes presidency

COLUMBUS Ohio Jane Grote Abell, chief operating officer of Donatos Pizza and a key figure in her family's repurchase of the regional chain from McDonald’s Corp. in 2003, has assumed the additional role of president from her father, Jim Grote.

Grote, who founded Donatos in 1963, will continue as chief executive and chairman. The pizza chain owns 135 stores and is the franchisor of another 40.

Abell, who has worked for the family-run company since she was 11, has held several leadership positions, including chief people officer and overseeing real estate and franchise development. She is credited with helping the chain buy itself back from McDonald’s after the fast food chain had purchased Donatos in 1999.

Donatos also announced the promotion of Tom Krouse from chief concept officer to chief concept and strategy officer with the additional responsibility for franchise growth and business development.