Subway CEO - Who Is He?

23/11/2018 08:00 | Franchise CEO

subway ceo

In recent years, there have been a number of changes at the top of the Subway hierarchy. Here, we take a look at who’s currently in charge and what that means for the franchise going forward.

Who is the CEO of Subway?

The current Subway CEO is Trevor Haynes, though this is intended to be an interim appointment while Subway makes decisions about its future direction. Trevor Haynes is an Australian businessman who joined Subway in 2006. He now resides in the United States and has considerable experience when it comes to managing franchisees.

Subway is one of the largest fast food restaurants in the world and one of the most recognisable brands in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector. With over 42,000 locations spread across 112 countries, the CEO position is a prestigious and demanding role that requires great talent and a wealth of experience to succeed in. As Trevor Haynes was only appointed to the position in July of this year, sufficient time has not yet passed to determine whether or not he is meeting or exceeding expectations.

The first non-family CEO in Subway history

Trevor Haynes’ appointment marks a remarkable departure for the fast food chain, as it has previously always been headed and managed by a member of the DeLuca family. Established in 1965, by Fred DeLuca, the business went from strength to strength under his stewardship. Presiding over a period of astounding growth, Fred DeLuca took Subway from a single restaurant in Connecticut to the global superpower that’s found on high streets and in shopping centres all over the world.

Tragically, Fred DeLuca’s life was cut short by leukaemia in 2015. When this occurred, his sister, Suzanne Greco was thrust into the limelight and took over as Subway’s CEO. Greco had been involved with the business since she was seven years old and started out as a “sandwich artist,” making subs alongside the rest of the company’s frontline staff.

Ms Greco faced many challenges when she assumed the role, most notably declining foot traffic and an increasingly strained relationship with the company’s franchisees. Her experience as a Subway operation specialist resulted in her being promoted to the position of vice president of operations, as well as research and development. She worked alongside her brother and her mother, who held an informal role at the company, ensuring that the business remained a family affair. While she may have stepped down from the position of CEO, there are suggestions that the family still maintains a great deal of control over the business and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

A step forward

The family’s continued influence in the company management may be why they’ve failed to attract a “big name” CEO to step into the void left by Ms Greco. The business has previously hinted that they would like to bring in a well-known and respected figure to help bring the company through its current troubles. However, this is easier said than done. Marquee CEO signings are wary about which positions they assume, as their reputation is their business. With Subway, the DeLuca’s control over operations may be putting off potential candidates.

With this in mind, Trevor Haynes may be a compromise candidate that acts as a stepping stone between an era of strong family ownership and a new start for the organisation.

The Trevor Haynes story

However, it would be wrong to suggest that Trevor Haynes is neither capable of performing the role nor sufficiently qualified to become full-time CEO of the business. Time and time again, within the Subway organisation and outside, he has proven himself a genuinely competent businessman. His appointment also suggests that those at the top of the company have some idea of the challenges that face Subway.

Previously responsible for franchisee and field engagement, Trevor Haynes represents a step away from the management style of previous CEOs. While Suzanne Greco was a talented businesswoman, she was not universally beloved by franchisees, and many considered her an inept CEO. The promotion of Trevor Haynes to the position of interim CEO perhaps represents a recognition that the brand needs to do more for its franchisees, particularly in the face of challenging economic conditions and poor performance figures.

Subway CEO salary

As the role has remained within the DeLuca family for a considerable amount of time, there is relatively little information regarding the size of the CEO salary. The DeLuca family are notoriously private and try to ensure that little information concerning the family and their business reaches the public eye. However, it is known that Fred DeLuca was amongst the USA’s 250 wealthiest Americans and boasted a net worth of approximately $1.5 billion. From this, we can deduce that anyone stepping into the role of CEO will be thoroughly financially rewarded.

What does the future hold for Subway?

Whoever is in charge of Subway has some serious challenges to overcome. With the proliferation of smaller chain restaurants that can provide high-quality products at almost as affordable rates, Subway is facing a period of increased competition. Independent chains are also eating into Subway’s profits, and consumer trends are moving away from large-scale fast food chains, towards more idiosyncratic and unique establishments.

At the same time, customers are becoming more health conscious and value fresh and natural ingredients to a greater extent. Fortunately, Subway has recognised these factors and are beginning to make changes to appeal to a younger audience. This includes opening new “fresh produce” stores, revamping the appearance of many stores, and emphasising the high standard of their ingredients.

Similarly, Subway is also attempting to integrate new technology into their stores, allowing customers to interact with the company in an increasingly digital manner. These attempts to re-orientate the business towards a younger audience demonstrate that the business’ leadership has things under control. This means that investment in a Subway franchise is still likely to be a profitable move.

The Subway franchise model

You'll need to raise a total investment of £200,000 to open your own Subway franchise. The initial investment is around £100,000, with the remaining amount designated as working capital. Subway is known as having one of the most comprehensive franchise packages, and the training and support they offer are second to none.

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