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Wingstop names Christina Clarke marketing chief

Fast-casual brand also promotes Donnie Upshaw in human resources role

Wingstop-Christina-Clarke-Marketing-Chief.jpgWingstop Inc. has named Christina Clarke as chief marketing officer, the company announced Friday.

The Dallas-based chicken wing brand appointed Clarke to succeed Maurice Cooper, who departed the company earlier this year. Clarke had served as interim CMO since September.

Wingstop also promoted Donnie Upshaw to senior vice president of people from his prior role of vice president of human resources. He joined Wingstop in 2018.

“Cultivating and promoting talent within our organization is a cornerstone of the path toward long-term growth and success at Wingstop,” said Charlie Morrison, Wingstop CEO and chairman, in a statement.

“Christina has contributed tremendously to our marketing strategy,” Morrison said, “and Donnie’s extensive expertise in talent management has already proved fruitful to our growing talent base. Both Christina and Donnie embody the leadership qualities that will continue to help us execute against our growth strategy.”

Clarke joined Wingstop in 2018 and earlier this year helped spearhead the brand’s new advertising campaign, “Where Flavor Gets Its Wings.” The company said that campaign, coupled with the increased rollout of delivery and the expansion of its digital sales mix, has contributed to domestic same-store sales growth of 10.7% through the first three quarters of 2019.

For the third quarter ended Sept. 28, Wingstop’s net income slipped 6.6% to $5.9 million, or 20 cents a share, from $6.3 million, or 21 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenue increased 30.4% to $49.9 million from $38.2 million in the prior-year period.

As of Sept. 28, Wingstop had 1,340 locations, including 1,169 domestic and 141 abroad. The brand was founded in 1994.

On Nov. 20, the company opened its first restaurant in France, its ninth country outside the United States. The unit, opened by brand partner Brescia Investissement SAS, is in Toulon, about 40 miles southeast of Marseilles.

The French restaurant offers table service via Bluetooth technology, which enables team members to determine the guests’ location within the restaurant. The wing flavors have been localized to include garlic parmesan with herbs de Provence.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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