Domino’s shakes up leadership ranks as part of “twin-region” focus

Company veteran David Burness, once a delivery driver, has been promoted to chief executive officer for ANZ.

With the goal of more than doubling its current size over the next decade, Domino’s Pizza Enterprises (DPE) has announced leadership changes to increase its focus in Europe and the Asia-Pacific (APAC).

Thirty-year company veteran David Burness has been promoted to chief executive officer for its Australia and New Zealand operations, succeeding Nick Knight who has decided to retire. 

Burness started as a delivery driver for Silvio’s Dial-A-Pizza in 1991 before becoming a franchise consultant and eventually serving as chief operations officer for the Domino's business in the Netherlands.

He has seven Domino’s stores on the Sunshine Coast with his wife Melissa, with their four children all working in the business.

Group CEO and managing director Don Meij lauded Knight’s two decades of service to Domino’s.

“Nick grew to become a store manager, one of the best multi-unit franchisees in Domino’s globally, and then a DPE executive, where he has spearheaded a strategic improvement in our franchisee base,” he said.

“I’ve always considered myself a custodian of this brand, one whose job is to ultimately hand over this business in a stronger position to the next custodian,” Knight added. “After two decades, I’m confident I’m doing that: with the strategy, the tools, and the team that will deliver on the next decade and beyond.”

Outside of ANZ, Domino’s Japan chief executive and president Josh Kilimnik will take on the expanded role of chief executive for APAC and will work with Europe CEO Andre ten Wolde to “identify functions to be reinforced by a regional executive within their regions.”

Current Japan chief marketing officer Todd Reilly will become chief marketing officer for APAC whilst Europe chief commercial Officer Nicky Claeys will perform an “expanded” role in that region.

Martin Steenks, franchise operations director of Domino’s Netherlands, has also been appointed as CEO of Domino’s Taiwan.

Both Steenks and Burness will report to Kilimnik, the company added.

“DPE’s Europe and APAC regions each have a population base of about 180 million people with significant opportunity for both organic growth and acquisitions. With this twin-region focus, we intend to maximise these opportunities,” Meij explained.

“As we accelerate to 2030 and beyond, we will grow much larger businesses in both regions; each planned to be bigger than the entire DPE of today.”

A “twin-region approach”, Meij added, will see a continued focus on global strategies and systems such as their OneDigital platform, which has already grown online ordering to 78.2%.

“At the same time, we will strengthen our localised approach to marketing and store roll-out, applying region-level expertise to areas such as marketing and store development,” he said.

Using cloud computing for modernisation, expansion plans
In a separate announcement, the ASX-listed firm signed a three-year strategic technology and services agreement with Microsoft to use its cloud computing service Azure to accelerate the company's modernisation and expansion plans.

The agreement sees them transitioning workloads and data collections from on-premise servers and optimising its ordering and fulfilment systems, which is expected to enhance its customer experience and build loyalty.

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