Kat Cole named COO of Focus Brands

Will lead Cinnabon, Moe’s owner’s domestic franchise brands

Focus Brands Inc. on Monday named Kat Cole the company’s chief operating officer and North America president. 

She will oversee Focus’s domestic franchised brands, including Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Schlotzsky’s. She will also oversee Focus’s licensing division.

“Those who have ever met Kat know that she is a uniquely skilled leader,” Steve DeSutter, CEO of Focus, said in a statement. “She’s purpose-driven and has the demonstrated ability to bridge the worlds of franchising, large global brands, innovation and entrepreneurship with her collaborative management style.”

Cole replaces Paul Damico, who on Monday was named the CEO of fellow Roark Capital company Naf Naf Grill.

Focus has more than 5,000 locations globally. Cole joined the company seven years ago as the president of Cinnabon, and for the past three years has been the president of Focus Brands’ Global Channels group.

Cole has been a member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum board of directors since 2009, and was its chair in 2015 and 2016.

“There has never been a more dynamic time for our brands to stand out in their respective categories,” Cole said in a statement. “Being bold, purpose driven, authentic and results oriented are central to optimizing our opportunities and impact.”

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter at @jonathanmaze

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