J. Patrick Doyle: President & CEO of Domino's Pizza

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Bio:

As President and Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Doyle, 51, heads up the recognized world leader in pizza delivery, and the second largest pizza company in the world. In this role – and as a member of the company’s Board of Directors – Doyle sets the global vision and strategy for Domino’s, and ensures its network of independent franchise owners not only shares in that vision, but executes the plan effectively under one strong brand name. With more than 10,000 stores and global retail sales of $7 billion, Domino’s
Pizza is a familiar choice at household dinner tables in nearly 75 markets around the world.

Doyle was named President and Chief Executive in March 2010, after nearly 13 years of service at the company. The next year, he was recognized by CNBC as its Berbie Award winner for Best CEO of the Year, citing the company’s phenomenal success at reformulating its U.S. pizza recipe and reinvigorating the then 50-year-old brand. An NYSE-listed company, Domino’s three-year stock performance (from April 2010 – April 2013) was up over 289% on both its U.S. and international track record – leading the
restaurant industry.

How did you get into the restaurant industry? 

 I was recruited to be the SVP – Marketing for the U.S. business.  It was an opportunity to work on a big brand that appeared to have tremendous upside potential. 

In such a competitive industry, what strategies does Dominos employ to stay so successful? 

The most important focus for us is keeping all our energy on improving our customers’ experience with the brand over the long term.  That sounds obvious, but this is a category with an enormous amount of short term focused promotion.  We are trying very hard to avoid that.  We’ve had fundamentally the same price point on television for over four years now.  So all of our energy is about improving the food, improving the attractiveness of our stores, improving our hospitality to customers, and using technology to provide a better, more convenient way for our customers to do business with us. 

What qualities make a great CEO? 

I spend most of my time making sure we’ve got the right people working for our company and as franchisees in our system.  I think great CEOs develop a compelling vision for why their business exists and how it is going to grow in the future.  If they do that right, they are able to attract the talent around them to make it happen.

What are your biggest successes as CEO and biggest mistakes and how have you learned from them? 

The relaunch of our brand at the beginning of 2010 put our brand on a remarkable growth path.  I’m also pretty proud of how we’re using technology to really change how our customers interact with the brand.  As for the biggest mistake, we should have done the relaunch earlier.  Our U.S. franchisees had a very bad run in 2006 through 2008.  I feel very personally responsible for not having driven change faster during that time.  The learning is about having the courage to move faster.

Your favorite items at Domino's? Which one's do you think consumers love the most and why? 

I love our new handmade pan pizza with pepperoni.  My other “go to pizza” is a thin crust Pacific Coast Veggie.  Our customers love their own creation.  It’s the beauty of pizza.  Everybody gets to create their own personal favorite. 

How important is social media to the success of Dominos and what creative tactics are you employing? 

This could be a very, very long answer.  The most important, and simplest answer, is that we use it to listen to our customers.  What people say about our brand is far more important than what we say about our brand.  People trust their friends and family far more than big companies.  Social media is now how people express their views about products, companies or the experience they had at a restaurant last night.  So we need to make sure that we are truly listening to how people feel about Domino’s and how we can make their experience better.

Life Motto? 

That’s probably a little deep for a guy who sells pizza for a living.  How about a business motto?  “Find something that’s broken and fix it!”  I think too many people jump on the bandwagon of businesses already doing well and simply want to go along for the ride.  To me, the real value is in finding areas within a company, or entire companies, that aren’t functioning well and figuring out how to improve them.  

Favorite travel destination? 

Montana.  Don’t tell anyone; that might ruin it.

What literature is on your bed stand? 

“Think like a Freak” and “Whisky – The Manual.” 

Rolemodel - business and personal? 

Dave Brandon, my predecessor as CEO, remains my primary business mentor. I’ve learned an awful lot from him.  On the personal side, my father and my wife, Techy.  My father, Joe Doyle,  has always managed to have a great relationship with everyone he worked with or came in contact with.  Techy is not only an amazing wife, and mother to our daughters, but she’s also more astute at reading people than anyone I’ve met. 

What's next for Dominos and J. Patrick Doyle? 

We’re going to continue to try and drive change in our business at a very rapid pace, and we’re going to do it not only in the U.S. but in our incredibly fast growing International business.   I think we can be one of the truly great restaurant companies and redefine how we get our customers to engage with us.  I know that’s a little vague, but I can’t put too many details out there!  Helping us accomplish that is not only going to be great fun for us at Domino’s, but should be a very interesting experience for our customers.

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Prior to being named CEO, Doyle held several other leadership positions at Domino’s. He led domestic operations as President of Domino’s USA from 2007 – 2010. Before that, he ran Domino’s corporate stores for three years and was head of the Company’s international division for five years. During this critical decade for the company, Doyle contributed on many fronts in key leadership roles, helping Domino’s add stores, sales and new countries – growing into the global brand it is today. He joined the company in
1997 as Senior Vice President of Marketing.

Prior to his retail and restaurant experience at Domino’s, Doyle was in consumer packaged goods as a vice president and general manager for Gerber Products Company’s U.S. baby food business. During his six years with Gerber, Doyle also served as vice president and general manager of Gerber’s Canadian operations.

Before Gerber, Doyle was European general manager of Intervascular SA in LaCiotat, France. He began his career in finance, spending five years at First Chicago Corporation as a corporate finance officer.

Doyle earned his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, which awarded him its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Michigan.

He has been a member of the board of directors of G&K Services Inc., a market leader in uniforms and facility services, since 2007, and serves on its compensation committee. Doyle is also the co-chair of the higher education subcommittee of the Business Leaders for Michigan, an organization dedicated to making Michigan a "Top Ten" state for job, economic and personal income growth. The organization is composed
of the chairpersons, chief executives or most senior executives of the state’s largest job providers and universities.

Active in his community, Doyle is also often involved in fundraising efforts for local education, arts and cultural organizations. He appears and is quoted regularly in the business media regarding both Domino’s and the broader restaurant and retail industries. Doyle currently resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife, Techy, and their two daughters.