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Kat Cole, COO and president, North America, Focus Brands
Known for: Kat Cole became vice president at Hooters of America at just 26 before joining Cinnabon and rising to the role of president by 32. It was through this role that she joined Focus Brands and eventually rose to her current position as COO for North American brands. She oversees the company’s domestic franchise brands and its licensing division.
Power move: As chief operating officer, Cole has developed a single operations model for all the chains at Focus Brands. She has applied the best practices and operational efficiencies from her experience at Cinnabon with adaptations based on brand strengths.
What’s next: In a world of declining mall sales, Cole is bolstering mall-focused brands Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon with delivery, catering and online ordering options.