Guy Russo, the former head of Wesfarmers’ department store division and long-standing board member of Guzman y Gomez (GYG), was appointed chairman of the board, the Mexican food retailer said on Wednesday.
Steven Marks, the founder and global CEO of GYG called Russo one of the most “dynamic and successful retail executives in Australia, if not the world” and said he is “one of the most astute board members I’ve seen”.
“As chairman, he will have high expectations of both board and management to deliver across all aspects of governance and the business,” Marks said.
In addition to his retail experience at Wesfarmers, Russo was previously president at McDonald’s Greater China and managing director and CEO at McDonald’s Australia.
He joined the GYG board in 2014 and has been part of the rapid expansion of the business over the last four years. He played a role in the launch of a breakfast menu and healthy meal options for kids and in securing a $44 million investment from TDM Growth Partners to accelerate domestic and international growth.
“Under the leadership of Steven and Robert, GYG has been on a remarkable journey since its first restaurant opened in Newtown in 2006. I’ve been fortunate to have been involved for much of this time and anticipate an exciting future as we pursue a mission to reinvent fast food,” Russo said.
“We’ll be seeing more of the exciting food and culture that GYG has become renowned for along with some category-defining work in menu and restaurant innovations over the next 12 months. I can’t wait to be involved with the whole team, from robust leadership to our energetic crew in store, as we can take GYG to the next level.”
GYG has already opened two restaurants in 2019 and has a further 15 new restaurants planned for 2019 across Australia.