Rob Lynch – From Arby’s to Papa Johns

The average age of a CEO is about 54 years old. By the time a professional reaches this level in their career, they’ve typically put in decades of work at their company, devoting their skills to its betterment. In 2019, Rob Lynch defied this formula by becoming the new CEO of Papa Johns at just 40. With a professional resume that started just 20 years prior at Proctor and Gamble, he wasn’t the obvious choice for the job, but he was the right choice. His success as the Chief Marketing Officer of Arby’s paved the way for an aggressive resuscitation of the Papa Johns brand. Under his watch, the company managed to recover its value, customer loyalty, and reputation.

What’s New With Management?

The Rob Lynch Papa Johns partnership has emerged as one of the most successful corporate takeovers in recent history. Lynch’s success is even more remarkable given the circumstances of his appointment. When he became CEO, Papa Johns was facing the fallout of controversy and a steady decline in sales. Through the introduction of epic menu innovations and engaging brand partnerships, Lynch effectively turned the company around. The restaurant is now scheduled to open a slew of new stores around the world, proving that it’s completely overcome the struggles it faced a few years ago.

Fans of the restaurant have been vigilantly watching for the new CEO’s next move, wondering what’s new for the company’s management. Thus far, Lynch has maintained a sense of mystery around many of the brand’s changes. Few people could have predicted the wild success of the Italian-inspired Papadias, for example. This line of flatbread sandwiches represents the innovative spirit that Lynch has brought to Papa Johns. There are currently six Papadia flavors available — and two crust selections — as well as the option to create your own custom Papadia. It’s possible that new flavors will be announced in the future.

Rob Lynch Has a Great Track Record

Lynch faced steep competition for the role of Papa Johns CEO. Although the brand was struggling, many of its executives were eager to take over, but Lynch came in from left field and snagged the job. His prior success at Taco Bell and Arby’s ultimately set him apart from the rest. As the Vice President of Marketing at Taco Bell, he was responsible for creating new menu items and developing marketing campaigns surrounding these items. His strategic use of sales analytics helped to optimize sales and fuel new market research.

This success at Taco Bell was notable enough that he was recruited to work at Arby’s headquarters in 2013. He held two corporate positions during his time at the company — Chief Marketing Officer and Brand President — and he also served as the franchisee association’s president. In each of these roles, he led with innovation and strategy, increasing the company’s sales in the process. This aptitude for leadership proves a track record of success, and this track record ultimately landed him the position of Papa Johns CEO.

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