Todd A. Penegor, President and Chief Executive Officer, Director


Todd A. Penegor

Todd has served as Wendy’s President and Chief Executive Officer since May 2016.

His vision is to create a company culture where Wendy’s people feel empowered, valued and appreciated to be their very best – a leadership style that has generated predictable, sustainable growth as an efficient growth company. He has also built a strong, collaborative partnership with the franchise community and helped attract new franchisees to join the Wendy’s family to build an even stronger Wendy’s brand.

Prior to his employment with the Company, Todd worked at Kellogg Company, a global leader in food products, from 2000 to 2013 where he held several key leadership positions, including Vice President of Kellogg Company and President of U.S. Snacks from 2009 to 2013, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kellogg Europe from 2007 to 2009 and Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kellogg USA and Kellogg Snacks from 2002 to 2007. Prior to joining Kellogg, Todd worked for 12 years at Ford Motor Company in various positions, including strategy, mergers and acquisitions, the controller’s office and treasury.

Todd joined Wendy’s as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2013. He was appointed Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer in 2014, then promoted to President and Chief Financial Officer in early 2016.

His connection to Wendy’s runs deep.

Todd’s father was a Wendy’s franchisee in the family’s hometown of Iron Mountain, Michigan, so he connected to the business from a young age and today places great emphasis on creating value for franchisees, as well as customers. It was also during this time in Upper Michigan that he developed his love for the Dave’s Single combo. Today he orders it with a Coke Zero.

Todd has served as a director of Ball Corporation since October 2019 and he’s actively involved with the community by serving as Vice Chair of the board of trustees of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Todd was also awarded with the 2018 Gold Stevie Award for Executive of the Year, Food & Beverage. In 2017, he was named the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Business Outstanding Alumni Achievement award winner.

He earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and his MBA in Finance from Michigan State University, where he also serves as President of the school’s Eli Broad College of Business advisory board.

Leigh A. Burnside, Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer U.S.


Leigh A. Burnside

Leigh is Wendy’s Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer U.S.

Under her leadership, Leigh leads Marketing and Digital Finance, Operations Finance, U.S. Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Continuous Improvement and T.H.R.I.V.E. and all Accounting and reporting functions, at Wendy’s.

In recognition of her broad scope of work on the U.S. business, Leigh was named Chief Financial Officer U.S. in May 2022. She was promoted to Chief Accounting Officer in 2019. Over the course of her 18 years with Wendy’s, Leigh has held numerous leadership roles across Finance. She previously served as Chief Accounting Officer leading all Accounting and reporting functions. Prior to that she served as Vice President–Finance and Planning and was accountable for the Company’s budgeting and forecasting processes, as well as the finance functional business partnership and analytics team. Prior to that, she served as Vice President– Strategic Financial Analysis. Leigh has also held director-level positions in Financial Reporting, Corporate Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis.

Leigh has led the creation of a continuous improvement culture within Finance that aligns with the mission of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) organization which is to drive positive change with a sense of urgency. Her collaborative leadership approach has also helped strengthen finance across the Wendy’s system, including the creation of Wendy’s CFO Forum that unites franchisee and company finance leaders to review business initiative economics and benchmark financial results.

Prior to her tenure with the Company, Leigh worked at L Brands, Inc. (formerly known as Limited Brands, Inc.) from 2001 to 2004, where she served as Manager of Internal Audit and Manager of Financial Reporting. Previously, she served as External Reporting Manager for Borden, Inc. from 1999 to 2001. Leigh’s corporate accounting and financial reporting, planning and analysis experience also includes seven years of public accounting with Arthur Andersen LLP and Coopers & Lybrand.

An Ohio native, her fondest memory of Wendy’s is from high school when she and her friends would use their school’s open lunch policy to frequent their local Wendy’s. Today, her lunchtime go-to option is a Dave’s Single combo. Her love of our brand and recognition of the Company as a great place to work are what fuel her daily passion.

Leigh holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a certified public accountant (inactive). She also serves as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Liliana M. Esposito, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer

Liliana M. Esposito

Liliana joined the Company in June 2014 and has served as our Chief Corporate Affairs & Sustainability Officer since February 2021 to reflect her range of responsibilities across Communications, Quality Assurance, Customer Care, Public Affairs and Corporate Responsibility. She previously served as our Chief Communications Officer from June 2014 to February 2021.

Liliana sets the vision and strategy for all communications with franchisees and employees, public relations, government relations and corporate responsibility. Her work with the Quality Assurance function involves developing quality and safety procedures throughout our supply chain and restaurants to provide a safe and quality dining experience for all Wendy’s customers.

Liliana prides herself on building diverse teams and empowering them to find solutions – a leadership style that has produced notable results. Her team recently restructured Wendy’s corporate responsibility efforts under one united banner, Good Done Right, and created our Supplier Code of Conduct. Under her direction, Wendy’s also launched The Square Deal, Wendy’s blog to provide a point of view on issues that are important to our Company and our customers.

Prior to Wendy’s, Liliana served as Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Dean Foods in Dallas, TX. Her previous experience includes tenure as Public Affairs Manager with Mars, Incorporated in New Jersey, and as a public relations consultant for eight years in New York City.

Liliana has happy memories of Wendy’s from her childhood where it was a special place to go out to eat. These days, her go-to order is a Double Stack with ketchup and pickles.

Liliana serves as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. She is also a member of the board of directors of Quality Supply Chain Co-op, Inc., the independent purchasing cooperative for Wendy’s restaurants; and she is the executive sponsor of WeQual, the Company’s employee resource group focused on LGBTQ+ employees and allies.

She holds a B.A. in Government and Foreign Affairs (with Distinction) from the University of Virginia, and a J.D. (Summa Cum Laude) from Seton Hall Law School.

Kurt A. Kane, President, U.S. and Chief Commercial Officer


Kurt A. Kane

Kurt has served as our President, U.S. and Chief Commercial Officer since June 2019. Kurt joined Wendy’s in May 2015 as Chief Concept Officer and became Chief Concept & Marketing Officer shortly thereafter, where he was responsible for Wendy’s culinary innovation, digital experience organization, brand marketing and advertising teams. In that role, he developed a unique brand voice across all marketing channels that distinguishes Wendy’s from competitors and is viewed as a trend-setting innovator across many industries

Prior to joining the Company, Kurt held several leadership positions within the food and beverage space that provided him with a broad and deep perspective on how to connect effectively with customers. Previously, he worked at Yum! Brands, Inc. where he was Global Chief Marketing and Food Innovation Officer for Pizza Hut. Before joining Yum! Brands, Kurt held brand marketing leadership positions with Frito-Lay, Inc., Molson Coors Brewing Company and The Procter & Gamble Company. Kurt also served as an Air Defense Artillery Officer in the 4th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army.

His love for the Wendy’s brand is strong, and his meal of choice is a Spicy Chicken combo paired with a fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookie.

In terms of leadership style, Kurt focuses on energizing and empowering people to deliver winning results, a strategy that has earned him industry honors, such as one of PR Week magazine’s “Top 40 Marketing Innovators to Watch.” He has also been named one of the “Top 100 Most Talented Global Marketing Leaders” by the World Marketing Congress and a Top 10 “Industry Heavyweight” by Nations Restaurant News.

Kurt holds a B.S. in Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. He also serves as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and is the executive sponsor of the Wendy’s Military Support Network, our employee network focused on supporting active duty, veterans and military family members. Kurt is also a member of the board of directors of Alex Lee, Inc., a privately-held food wholesaler and distributor.

M. Coley O'Brien, Chief People Officer


M. Coley O'Brien

Coley has served as Wendy’s Chief People Officer since March 2018.

He’s passionate about making Wendy’s a great place to start, build or spend a career – a vision he implements through focused leadership of our company culture, talent development, and diversity and inclusion efforts.

Coley joined Wendy’s in 2007 as National Director of Operations Training, a position that utilized his deep experience in employee training. He was promoted to Vice President of Training in 2011, and Vice President of Human Resources and Field Capability in 2013.

At Wendy’s, Coley established the Top General Manager program, which celebrates the best 200 restaurant General Managers for their leadership, performance, dedication, and continued service to the Wendy’s brand. He also created our Human Resources Forum so that corporate and franchisee HR leaders can share best practices to drive organizational effectiveness.

Further, Coley serves as executive sponsor of WenGen, the Company’s employee network focused on the growth and development young professionals.

Prior to his tenure with the Company, Coley worked at Sears Holdings Corporation for five years, where he served as Director of Retail Training and was responsible for the training of 150,000 salaried and hourly field associates performing both operational and consultative selling roles nationally. Before joining Sears Holdings Corporation, he began his business career with Arthur Andersen LLP, where he was employed from 1999 to 2002 as a Senior Consultant with Arthur Andersen Performance and Learning and specialized in global learning strategies and training development for large organizations in the retail, telecommunications, energy and pharmaceutical industries.

Coley’s first memory of Wendy’s is from childhood, when his family would celebrate a special event by driving an hour to the closest Wendy’s restaurant from their small town in Western Nebraska. He says that experience sparked a love for our brand that endures today, and his favorite item on the Wendy’s menu is our Spicy Chicken Sandwich with pickles and onion.

Coley earned a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. He also serves as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and is a board member of the Women’s Foodservice Forum. Away from work, he is actively involved in youth activities with his kids and within his community, including playing an active role in the Little League Baseball program.

Gunther Plosch, Chief Financial Officer

Gunther Plosch

Gunther (GP) has served as our Chief Financial Officer since he joined Wendy’s in May 2016.

He leads all financial aspects of our Company, from tax and treasury matters to representing our brand as the main point of contact with investors. He is committed to driving actions that promote Wendy’s growth and success through financial discipline and the success of the franchise business model.

GP joined Wendy’s after 16 years at Kellogg Company, where he held several key leadership positions. He was most recently Vice President of Global Business Services and, before that, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Kellogg North America. He also served as Vice President of Finance for Morning Foods, Vice President of Corporate Planning, and Finance Director of Kellogg’s United Kingdom/Republic of Ireland region.

A native of Salzburg, Austria, GP began his career there with The Procter & Gamble Company, working in various finance roles from 1991 to 2000. His tenure with P&G also included time in Belgium and the United Kingdom.

GP says his career goal had always been to serve as CFO of a publicly traded company. Although he doesn’t have a childhood connection to Wendy’s because our Company didn’t operate in Austria, his most memorable moment thus far is the three days he spent working at one of our restaurants during his onboarding. If you find him in line at the drive-thru, you can bet he’ll order the Spicy Chicken Sandwich.

GP graduated with marketing and finance degrees from Johannes Kepler University. He also completed service in the Austrian military.

Abigail E. Pringle, President, International and Chief Development Officer

Abigail Pringle

Abigail has served as our President, International and Chief Development Officer since June 2019. She has held a host of leadership roles at Wendy’s since joining the Company in 2002, including Chief Global Development Officer and International, Chief Development Officer, Senior Vice President of Restaurant Development and Growth Initiatives, and Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives and Planning.

A high-energy leader, she thrives on big challenges and effectively leads her teams through significant transitions – evidenced by the central role she’s played in Wendy’s return to growth since 2013.

Abigail’s fingerprints are all over our restaurants, so to speak. She’s been responsible for restaurant design, real estate, construction and franchise development, and she led an initiative to redesign crew member uniforms, packaging and the logo that helped reinvigorate our brand. In her current role, Abigail leads all aspects of our International business outside of the United States and is responsible for all restaurant and franchise development across the globe.

Further, Abigail is the executive sponsor of Women of Wendy’s, our employee network focused on developing and empowering female leaders at Wendy’s.

Although Abigail’s favorite menu item is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich, she fully appreciates fresh beef. She grew up on a cattle farm in Maine, and her family dined at the only Wendy’s in town because her father loved the brand (and because the restaurant served North American fresh, never frozen beef).

Prior to Wendy’s, Abigail spent six years at the global professional services company Accenture, where she led various clients in the areas of process reengineering, systems implementations, organizational design and change management.

She serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the Columbus, Ohio Chamber of Commerce, for which she previously chaired the strategy committee. Abigail also serves on the advisory boards of Dupler Office, a privately held company, and Denison University, her alma mater.

Kevin Vasconi, Chief Information Officer


Kevin Vasconi

Kevin joined Wendy’s as our Chief Information Officer in 2020. In this role, he is responsible for all aspects of Wendy’s global technology efforts, including Consumer-facing Digital, Restaurant Technology, Enterprise Architecture and Technology, and Information Security.

Prior to joining the Company, Kevin served as Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer at Domino’s Pizza, Inc. At Domino’s, he served on the executive leadership team and was responsible for developing and leading all domestic and international technology capabilities. Emphasis on technology innovation helped Domino's achieve more than half of all global retail sales in 2019 from digital channels, primarily online ordering and mobile applications.

He has been recognized in the Top 10 of Nation’s Restaurant News’ Power List for his technology and innovation leadership, overseeing the team that spearheaded digital innovations that changed the pizza landscape and have served as inspiration for the broader QSR category.

Kevin has more than 30 years of technology experience across multiple industries including automotive, hardware, software and retail. His tenure prior to Domino’s includes service as CIO and VP of Engineering for the Stanley Security Solutions division of Stanley Black & Decker; SVP & CIO, R.L.Polk & Co.; and Chief Technology Officer for a number of business units and platforms within the Ford Motor Company.

You’ll find the Son of Baconator in his favorites on the Wendy’s mobile app.

Kevin received his B.S. in Technology from Purdue University.

E.J. Wunsch, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary

E.J. Wunsch

E.J. has served as Wendy’s Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary since he joined our Company in 2016.

He considers himself a business leader who happens to be a lawyer – an approach that helps him provide outstanding advice and counsel to Wendy’s Senior Leadership Team.

He would list a few of his top Wendy’s achievements here but, being the consummate lawyer that he is, did not out of deference to confidentiality agreements. He can tell you, though, that he applies a situational leadership style to his work, because each person and circumstance can be so complex. One size does not fit all in E.J.’s world. That’s why he’ll often order the Dave’s Double, his favorite Wendy’s menu item, but sometimes get the combo and substitute a Frosty for the drink.

E.J. is also extremely proud to serve as the executive sponsor of the Wendy’s Cultural Diversity Network, the Company’s employee network focused on celebrating people of color at Wendy’s.

Prior to Wendy’s, E.J. spent 17 years at The Procter & Gamble Company. He held several key leadership positions, the last of which was Vice President and General Counsel of the company’s North America business.

He also gained international experience with P&G in Singapore, where he had overall legal responsibility for the company’s patent, trademark and advertising activity throughout Asia. Before that, he supported the company’s business units in a variety of roles, including Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors and Associate General Counsel for employee benefits, corporate governance and securities matters.

Earlier in his career, E.J. was an associate attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, a law firm with 10 offices across the United States, and a law clerk for the Honorable Richard F. Suhrheinrich of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

E.J. holds a B.S. in Finance from Miami University, magna cum laude, and a J.D. from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, as well as the Ohio Law & Leadership Institute, a non-profit that educates and prepares high school students from underserved communities for careers in the legal profession.