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Subway names new brand and innovation leaders

Len Van Popering is promoted to role of chief brand and innovation officer

Subway is shoring up its innovation team with the promotion of Len Van Popering to chief brand and innovation officer.

len-van-popering-subway-chief-brand-innovation-officer.gifVan Popering, left, who previously served as vice president of culinary innovation, was named to the position last week. The marketing veteran, who earlier worked at Arby’s and Logan’s Roadhouse, has been at Subway since October 2017.

Van Popering has been “actively involved in the brand’s global transformation,” which has included adding new “craveable” menu items such as the Ultimate Cheesy Garlic Bread and the Signature Wraps Collection, the Milford, Conn.-based quick-service sandwich company said.

He also spearheaded the recent partnership with food media brand Tastemade, which is collaborating with the company to produce and market new sandwiches.

Subway announced other appointments to Van Popering’s team, as well.

Marie Silloway was named vice president of brand management; Renee Hourigan was named director of convenience and innovation; and chef Ciaran Duffy is now senior corporate executive chef.

Silloway, formerly the global chief marketing officer at Godiva, will oversee global packaging and convenience strategy for Subway. Hourigan comes to Subway from Victorinox Swiss Army. She will be responsible for building Subway’s delivery program.

 “Marie, Ciaran and Renee are extremely talented leaders and visionaries,” Van Popering said in a statement. “Their experience and expertise make them an ideal fit for our Subway family and I’m confident in their ability to build on the great work our team is doing as we continue to create an even better guest experience,”

The new leadership comes as Subway continues to shed units amid a brand transformation.

The company, which is 100% franchised, has about 42,400 restaurants in more than 100 countries. The brand ended 2018 with 24,798 U.S. restaurants, down from 27,103 in 2014, according to the Nation’s Restaurant News Top 200 census.

Contact Nancy Luna at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @FastFoodMaven

Correction June 4, 2019: This story has been edited to correct the prior roles of Hourigan and Silloway.

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