Denny''s to Restructure for Long Term Growth


Oct 14, 2006

Denny''s (Nasdaq: DENN) is launching a corporate restructuring program created to allow the company to continue its focus on operational excellence while at the same time promoting future growth. Central to the plan is the readjustment of key responsibilities and operational roles under a new reporting structure with six executives reporting directly to the CEO and President. The direct reports now include the Chief People Officer, COO, CFO, CLO, CMO, and Chief Diversity Officer. Creation of a Chief Operating Officer position is one of the many new aspects of Denny's focused organizational structure. Under this new role, the company consolidates responsibility for company and franchise operations and the facilities/repair and upkeep as well as the procurement groups that previously were separate functions. Serving as acting head of operations is Sam Wilensky while a search is mounted for a full-time appointment to the new position. The company expects the position to be filled by the end of 2007. Wilensky currently directs franchisee operations, a role he will continue to perform along with his new responsibilities. Mark Wolfinger has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Growth Initiatives, in addition to his role as CFO. Wolfinger will assume increased responsibility for Development, including Strategic and Alternative Delivery Initiatives, making certain the company remains focused on growth. He will also have added responsibility for I.T and a newly created call center that responds to the needs of guests and staff. When announcing the new structure, Denny's President and CEO Nelson Marchioli said, 'Our team has done an outstanding job of strengthening our competitive positioning and financial integrity. This is the essential next step in the process of building our brand for the long term. Our new organizational structure increases our ability to do this because it enhances our emphasis on our guests.' Also launched as part of the restructuring plan is the promotion of Yvonne Wolf to a new position, Chief People Officer. This post will report directly to the CEO. Wolf will assume the duty of hiring, developing and retaining a diverse talent of staff essential to Denny’s success. Soon to retire is Craig Herman, Senior VP of Company Operations. With his firm commitment to Denny's, he has expressed an interest in continuing to work with Denny’s as a franchisee. Senior Vice President Janis Emplit will now lead Company Operations. She will also oversee a newly combined facilities team. Denny's is the United States largest full-service family restaurant chain, with 535 company-owned locations and 1,024 franchised and licensed restaurants, with operations in the US, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, Costa Rica, Mexico, and New Zealand.