Whataburger taps former Starbucks exec as COO
Whataburger has hired Debbie Stroud as its new COO and EVP, according to a press release.
Stroud most recently served as SVP, U.S. retail operations for Starbucks Coffee Company. Prior to Starbucks, Stroud spent 27 years with McDonald’s in numerous roles, ultimately serving as VP and general manager in the U.S. Southeast.
“I’m so excited that Debbie will be our new COO. She brings 30 years of high-impact leadership in the restaurant industry to Whataburger,” Ed Nelson, Whataburger president and CEO, said in the press release. “Her experience leading operations in a time of accelerated growth will truly benefit our brand as we continue to grow across 15 states and deliver bold flavors, extraordinary hospitality and meaningful communities in our 930-plus locations. She has a great energy and passion around connecting with people and building great teams, and I know our 51,000 family members are going to benefit from her knowledge.”
“There is something truly unique about Whataburger. It’s a family-founded, beloved brand with a strong legacy and a wildly loyal fan base — and it is in a truly exciting phase of growth,” Stroud said in the pres release. “There is incredible pride among the Whataburger family members and in the brand’s fresh, high quality made-to-order food. I’m excited to contribute in a way that enhances the culture of pride, care and love through the experience for both family members and customers.”
Strand will report to Nelson and will be part of the senior leadership team.
Whataburger operates more than 900 locations across 15 states.