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Collins Foods names new CEO

Fast-food operator Collins Foods has named its chief operating officer as its new CEO following the planned retirement of group managing director and CEO Graham Maxwell.

COO Drew O’Malley, who joined Collins Foods in 2017, will take on the CEO role on July 1.

Collins Foods chairman Robert Kaye SC said the company’s ability to plan O’Malley’s succession into the CEO role and the strength of the working relationship between him and Maxwell had facilitated a smooth transition.

“The board is confident that Drew will continue to build on the success the company has enjoyed under Graham’s leadership and the growth platforms he has established,” Kaye said.

Kaye, on behalf of the board, thanked Maxwell for his dedicated leadership over the last six years and congratulated him on the financial results he achieved for shareholders.

“During his time as the managing director and CEO, the group’s KFC restaurant network has grown to 240 in Australia and 41 in Germany and the Netherlands,” Kaye said.

He added that the group had also introduced the Taco Bell brand to its operations under Maxwell’s tenure, and now has 12 Taco Bell restaurants in Queensland and Victoria.

“The board wishes Graham and his family the very best for the next chapter of their lives,” he said.

O’Malley said while the current operating environment has been challenging in many ways, it has also underscored how strong and resilient the business is, and he said Collins Foods has many exciting opportunities ahead.

“Having worked closely with Graham over the past three years, I would like, on behalf of everyone at Collins, to thank him for his exceptional leadership and guidance during his successful tenure as CEO,” O’Malley said.

The company announced last month that sales in Australia had rebounded from the coronavirus lockdowns, but that KFC restaurants in Germany and the Netherlands continued to be hit hard.

Increased drive-through and home delivery sales more than offset any negative impact during the ban on dine-in transactions in Australia.

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