Turnaround pro takes reins at Burger King

Greg Brenneman, chairman and CEO of Houston-based turnaround private equity firm TurnWorks, has been named head of the fast-food chain effective August 1.

Greg Brenneman, current chairman and chief executive officer of private equity firm TurnWorks, has been named CEO of fast food chain operator Burger King Corp effective August 1. He replaces Brad Blum, who left earlier this month because of 'strategic differences' with the company's directors.

Burger King has struggled with heavy debt due to overexpansion, with three of its ten biggest franchisees filing for bankruptcy protection in recent years. The company is the second largest hamburger chain in the US, with approximately 7,700 restaurants, most of which are franchised.

Brenneman is widely known for his ability to turn around under-performing companies. He founded Houston-based TurnWorks in 1994 to invest in and work with firms needing executive turnaround leadership, management expertise and financial re-engineering. He served as CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, which he restructured and led in a strategic sale to IBM Corp for $3.5 billion. From 1995 to 2001, Brenneman served as chief operating officer and subsequently president of Continental Airlines, helping navigate the carrier from annual losses to renewed profitability and prestige in the American airline industry.

Burger King is currently owned by Texas Pacific Group, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Bain Capital. Texas Pacific led the consortium in December 2002, agreeing to pay $1.5 billion for the fast food business, after a bidding process that saw the price tag fall from the original $2.26 billion figure agreed upon in July due to Burger King's weak performance.