Pillsbury shuffles restaurant group: Campbell, Craig exits spark dismantling

Pillsbury shuffles restaurant group: Campbell, Craig exits spark dismantling – Jeffrey Campbell, Kyle Craig; includes 2 related articles

Peter J. Romeo

Pillsbury shuffles restaurant group

MINNEAPOLIS–Pillsbury Co. has realigned top-level management of its beleaguered food-service empire following the resignations of restaurant group chairman J. Jeffrey Campbell and key lieutenant Kyle Craig.

Dismantling the centralized administration built by Campbell during his 13-month reign, Pillsbury has divided his and Craig’s duties among three men stationed in three different offices.

“The restaurant group does not exist anymore as a corporate entity,” a Pillsbury spokesman said.

Jerry Levin, 44, Pillsbury’s executive vice president of corporate development and a reputed deal maker, has been tapped to succeed Craig as chairman of S&A Restaurant Corp., the restaurant group’s Dallas-based dinner-house business. He has no prior experience in the restaurant field, the Pillsbury spokesman said.

Unlike Craig, Levin reports directly to corporate chairman William Spoor. Craig’s immediate superior was Campbell, who had his office here and reported to Spoor.

S&A president and chief operating officer Don Slater has assumed certain of Craig’s financial and administrative functions. He retains his office in Dallas and reports to Levin.

Charles Olcott, formerly president of Burger King USA, inherited Campbell’s responsibility for all of Burger King. Olcott was elevated to president and chief operating officer of Miami-based Burger King Corp., with responsibilities for both U.S. and foreign operations.

Ron Petty, president of Burger King International, remains in that job but now answers to Olcott, who in turn is subordinate only to Spoor: Previously, both Petty and Olcott reported to Campbell, who answered to Spoor.

Because Olcott has retained his former duties, the post of Burger King USA president will not be filled, a Burger King spokesman said.

Nebraska-based Godfather’s Pizza, the 580-unit fastfood chain Pillsbury is negotiating to sell to its management, was unaffected by the resignations of Campbell and Craig.

Neither Campbell nor Craig are participating in the pizza chain’s leveraged buyout, a Godfather’s spokesman said.

Campbell, 44, and Craig, 40, rose together through the ranks of Burger King. Campbell quit on a Friday and Craig on the following Wednesday.

Campbell, one of the most prominent restaurant-chain executives of the past decade, gave no reason for tendering his resignation. Pillsbury said that the action was voluntary.

However, the conglomerate had already moved to curtail Campbell’s authority.

According to Pillsbury’s spokesman, the company’s board voted in late May or early June to decentralize the 6,600-unit restaurant group, long before Campbell offered his resignation while he lunched with Spoor.

The management realignment was in keeping with a plan approved by our board of directors,” the Pillsbury spokesman said.

On the day Pillsbury revealed Campbell’s resignation, it also disclosed that Levin would take on the added duties of supervising Craig and S&A.

Two days later Pillsbury announced Craig’s resignation. Hours later, an S&A spokesman said, Levin had been given Craig’s title of S&A chairman.

Campbell and Craig both came under fire during the tail end of their tenure because of the lackluster performance of their respective charges.

After Campbell was named chairman of the restaurant group in May 1987, its fortunes soured. At an investors’ meeting the day after Campbell’s resignation, Pillsbury chief financial officer Roger Headrick disclosed that the group’s operating profit for the year ended May 31 had declined by 10 percent from the prior year’s tally.

COPYRIGHT 1988 Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further reproduction or distribution is prohibited without permission.

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