Focus Brands has unveiled Jim Holthouser as CEO, replacing Steve DeSutter, who is retiring from the role after nearly six years.
Holthouser brings more than 30 years of experience in worldwide brand development, concept innovation, franchise management, and digital marketing.
He most recently served as executive VP, global brands, marketing and loyalty at Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for Hilton’s entire portfolio of 13 brands with over 5,000 hotels across 105 countries, generating annual revenues of $36 billion.
He spent more than 20 years at Hilton in various strategic and brand management roles and has a proven track record of spearheading the launch, development, and repositioning of leading consumer brands.
“Focus Brands is an outstanding company, recognized globally for its iconic brands, and I am pleased to take on this role at such an exciting time in the Company’s history,” said Holthouser.
“I look forward to working with the Focus Brands team, franchisees, and suppliers to continue growing our leading foodservices concepts, enhancing our customers’ experience and delivering value to all of our partners.”
Focus Brands is the parent company of a number of foodservice chains including Auntie Anne’s, Carvel, Cinnabon, Jamba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli, Schlotzsky’s, and Seattle’s Best Coffee. Collectively those brands represent more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shops and bakeries in the US.
Chairman Steve Romaniello said: “Jim is a results-oriented leader with a demonstrated history of partnering with team members and franchisees to drive results.
“His track record of managing multi-branded portfolios and growing brands is impressive and gives us great confidence that he is ideally suited to lead Focus Brands in its next phase of growth.”