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‘Whiz Kid’ Daniel Schwartz Named CEO of Restaurant Brands International

Daniel Schwartz,   CEO Burger King

Restaurant Brands International Inc., which was born from the merger of Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons and fast-food giant Burger King, named Daniel Schwartz as its new chief executive officer, Foodservice Equipment and Supplies said on December 16.

The 34-year-old Schwartz will lead the organization’s day-to-day business and overall business strategy. The move came as the organization announced its new executive leadership team.

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Burger King has completely turned business around recently, posting impressive sales during an industry-wide slowdown including its biggest sales gain in two years, Business Insider said on December 12.

The report attributed the fast food chain’s success to new management,  refranchising of virtually all company-owned restaurants, huge international expansion, focus on controlling costs, a makeover of U.S. operations, and the acquisition of the coffee chain with huge growth potential.

Morgan Stanley recently upgraded Burger King’s shares to “overweight, ” citing positive trends in the business. Shares are up 78% in the past year.

“These days … Burger King is behaving more like a startup than a typical burger chain, ” Bloomberg Businessweek said in a July feature on Schwartz, who became the company’s CEO last year.

The youthful executive has been credited with turning the company into a cash machine.

Schwartz worked for nearly a decade on Wall Street after college but had no experience in the fast food industry when he took the helm, so he spent much of his first couple of months training at Burger King restaurants where he scrubbed bathrooms, made food, and interacted with customers in an effort to find ways of boosting operational efficiency.

He swiftly changed the menu to be less complicated and made franchising easier for overseas restaurants, leading to the rapid expansion overseas. Schwartz also helped reduce Burger King’s corporate headcount to 2, 425 from 38, 884 by refranchising restaurants, meaning those workers now report to franchise owners. Furthermore, he axed many executive perks, including lavish offices and a $1 million annual party at a chateau in Italy, which helped profits soar., Business Insider said.

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