Bagel guy now Drive-in guy: Sonic gets new CMO
Steve’s breakdown: The background of the new guy seems to point to international expansion but I also suspect they are going to take another look at advertising. The featured ad was done by Goodby and ran last summer.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK: Sonic Corp., the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants, today announced the appointment of James O’Reilly as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. O’Reilly brings more than 20 years of senior level leadership in consumer driven marketing, brand management and product development, including extensive experience within the quick service restaurant segment. He most recently served as the Chief Concept Officer of Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: BAGL).
“We are very excited to add James to the Sonic Team,” said Cliff Hudson, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “He brings an impressive track record of innovative marketing, brand positioning and product development. He is a seasoned executive who is highly regarded for his broad range of expertise, and we are confident that his leadership and insight will help support the growth of our brand.”
In his three years with Einstein Noah, O’Reilly managed several functions for the organization including Marketing, Research & Development, and Information Technology. Most recently, his marketing and food innovation efforts drove positive same-store sales growth.
O’Reilly joined Einstein Noah after 13 years with YUM! Brands. He served in progressive roles throughout the YUM! system including international roles with KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Yum! Restaurants International, Chief Marketing Officer of KFC, and Senior Vice President US Marketing of YUM! Brands. Prior to his tenure with YUM!, he spent five years with Procter & Gamble’s Canadian division.
Sonic, America’s Drive-In, originally started as a hamburger and root beer stand in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma called Top Hat Drive-In, and then changed its name to Sonic in 1959. The first drive-in to adopt the Sonic name is still serving customers in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Sonic has more than 3,500 drive-ins coast to coast, where approximately three million customers eat every day. For more information about Sonic Corp. and its subsidiaries, visit Sonic at www.sonicdrivein.com.