When Kevin Vasconi’s departure from Domino’s Pizza was announced last month, it was positioned as a retirement that would become effective October 2. His time out of an office didn’t last long: On October 19 The Wendy’s Company announced that Vasconi is joining it as its new chief information officer.
Vasconi, who is 59, will report to the $5.4 billion fast-food chain’s CEO, Todd Penegor, and serve on its top leadership team. He will be responsible for all aspects of Wendy’s technology activities, including its consumer-facing digital offerings, its restaurant technology, information security and the underlying enterprise architecture that supports all of this.
During his eight-year tenure at Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Domino’s, Vasconi spearheaded an ambitious digital transformation effort that enabled a wide range of digital-ordering platforms and new, Covid-friendly offerings such as Domino’s “carside delivery service.”
More than half of Domino’s global retail sales came from digital channels last year thanks to such innovations, and Wendy’s will be hoping Vasconi can help raise its own digitally-driven sales, which accounted for just 5% of its total revenues in the second quarter of 2020.
CEO Penegor revealed during the company’s second-quarter earnings call in August that Wendy’s was searching for a CIO who would report to him. Wendy’s also said its chief digital experience officer, Laura Titus, had left the company. Titus had been overseeing its digital efforts.
Vasconi joins as Wendy’s, like many other fast-food chains, is gradually recovering from the initial impact of the pandemic. Its overall sales were battered in the spring, but started to pick up during the summer, with same-store sales rising 5.1% in June and 8.2% in July.
Penegor told analysts during the second-quarter earnings call that he believes the Dublin, Ohio-based chain has “a huge opportunity” to further push sales of its popular breakfast menu, which it has been promoting heavily this year. It will be up to Vasconi to prove he’s as adept at boosting digital revenues from breakfast biscuits and burgers as he has been at promoting online sales of pizzas.