Rob Lynch leaves Papa Johns to lead Shake Shack

Rob Lynch leaves Papa Johns to lead Shake Shack

NEW YORK — Rob Lynch is joining Shake Shack as its new chief executive officer, effective May 20, 2024.

Lynch, who is currently president and CEO of Papa Johns International, Inc., will succeed Randy Garutti.

Lynch has led Papa Johns International as president and CEO since August 2019. He previously was president of Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. and joined the company in 2013 as its brand president and chief marketing officer.

Before Arby’s, Lynch was vice president of marketing at Taco Bell. He also has held positions at The Kraft Heinz Co. and Procter & Gamble.Rob LynchRob Lynch, new chief executive officer at Shake Shack. Photo: Papa Johns

Garutti has held the title of CEO at Shake Shack since 2011. Garutti joined Shake Shack in 2007 as chief operating officer.

Before his tenure with Shake Shack, he was previously director of operations for Union Square Hospitality Group and earlier was general manager for Canlis Restaurant.  

“Rob’s appointment as CEO marks the beginning of our next chapter of growth as we seek to further elevate Shake Shack as a leading global brand,” said Danny Meyer, founder and chairman of Shake Shack. “Rob’s deep leadership experience with several well-established global brands will serve us well in executing on our long-term strategic priorities as we enter the next phase of our company’s growth. Rob’s leadership style is also a wonderful fit to advance Shake Shack’s culture of Enlightened Hospitality, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.

 “I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Randy for the exceptional impact, leadership and dedication he has brought to Shake Shack since its inception as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park to what it has become today — a beloved brand with over 520 restaurants across the world. Randy’s commitment to this brand for over 20 years, including during this time of transition, will be an enduring part of Shake Shack’s success story.”Ravi Thanawala, interim CEO at Papa Johns. Photo: Alisha McKellar Portrait Design

Papa Johns International, Inc. has named Ravi Thanawala, the company’s current chief financial officer, as its interim CEO. Thanawala has been CFO at Papa Johns International since July 2023.

Before joining Papa Johns, Thanawala was most recently CFO and vice president for Nike North America and joined Nike in October 2016 as its vice president of retail excellence.

Before his tenure with Nike, Thanawala was with Ann Inc. for eight years in finance and operations roles.

“Since joining Papa Johns nearly five years ago, Mr. Lynch has guided the company through a business and culture transformation,” said Christopher Coleman, chairman of Papa Johns International’s board. “I am joined by the board, our team members and our franchisees in sharing our deepest thanks for his service and contributions in rebuilding the strength of the brand as CEO. We wish Rob all the best. I am confident that we have a strong leadership team in place — led by Ravi Thanawala as interim CEO — to continue to execute our long-term strategy as the board takes the necessary time to identify the next CEO for Papa Johns.”