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

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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.

Liliana M. Esposito, Chief Corporate Affairs and Sustainability Officer

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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.

M. Coley O'Brien, Chief People Officer

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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

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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

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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.

Suzie Thuerk, Chief Accounting Officer

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Suzie Thuerk has served as Chief Accounting Officer for The Wendy’s Company since January 2023.

She leads the Company’s accounting operations, including oversight of Wendy’s public financial filings and international subsidiaries.

Suzie has been with Wendy’s since 2014, serving in various accounting and finance roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently she was Vice President, Accounting. Previously, she worked in financial planning and analysis for Bath & Body Works and held accounting roles at Limited Brands and PwC.

During her time at Wendy’s, Suzie supported the Company’s first Whole Business Securitization financing in 2015, building the model for the management fee still used today. In 2019, she led the successful implementation of the Company’s new lease accounting standard.

A former college athlete, Suzie’s leadership style is to operate like a team captain. She helps her team achieve success through her own efforts and by helping each individual reach their potential.

She also values the opportunity to mentor colleagues on their career journeys. She says one of her most memorable achievements at Wendy’s was serving as a co-chair for the Women of Wendy’s employee resource group.

She and other Company volunteers created a Women’s Leadership Development program, which provided high potential female leaders with coaching and resources to accelerate their development and advancement. 

Her favorite Wendy’s food is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich – which you’ll usually find her grabbing for lunch on Fridays.

Suzie holds a Master of Accounting degree from The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

Kevin Vasconi, Chief Information Officer

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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

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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.