Focus Brands, parent to Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s, announced the appointment of Jim Holthouser as CEO on Thursday, effective immediately. Holthouser succeeds Steve DeSutter. Focus Brands is majority owned by affiliates of private-equity firm Roark Capital Group.
“Focus Brands is an outstanding company, recognized globally for its iconic brands, and I am pleased to take on this role at such an exciting time in the company’s history,” said Holthouser in a news release. “I look forward to working with the Focus Brands team, franchisees, and suppliers to continue growing our leading foodservices concepts, enhancing our customers’ experience and delivering value to all of our partners.”
Holthouser, below, comes to Focus from Hilton, where he spent more than 20 years. He most recently served as executive vice president, global brands, marketing and loyalty at Hilton Worldwide.
“Jim is a results-oriented leader with a demonstrated history of partnering with team members and franchisees to drive results,” said Steve Romaniello, Focus Brands board chairman, in a news release. “His track record of managing multi-branded portfolios and growing brands is impressive and gives us great confidence that he is ideally suited to lead Focus Brands in its next phase of growth. We thank Steve for his leadership and service over the past six years and look forward to welcoming Jim to the Focus Brands family.”
DeSutter is retiring after serving as the Company’s CEO for nearly six years. Under DeSutter’s leadership, Focus bought Jamba Juice in 2018 for $200 million.
“It has been a great pleasure to serve as CEO of Focus Brands over the past six years, and I am confident that the business is positioned for continued growth with Jim at the helm,” said. DeSutter in a news release. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jim, and he has impressed me with his passion for the brands, hospitality and franchising. While it’s always bittersweet to close the door on one chapter, I am very much looking forward to continuing to watch the business grow from my seat in retirement.”
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