Smashburger Co-Founder Named Chief Brand Officer

by Katie Lee

Denver — Tom Ryan, a Smashburger co-founder and food industry icon, will assume the role of chief brand officer, spearheading brand evolution as the company expands its operations and global ambitions. Ryan and partner Rick Schaden co-founded Smashburger in 2007; Ryan has since served as chief concept officer.

A longtime industry veteran and visionary, Ryan has held top branding, marketing and product development positions at Procter & Gamble, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Quiznos.

“As we set an aggressive growth pace, maintaining the integrity of the Smashburger brand is paramount,” says Schaden, chairman and co-founder of Smashburger. “There is no better person than Tom to guide the evolution of the Smashburger brand as we enter this next phase of growth at home and abroad. His vision and passion have always been at the heart of Smashburger.”  

The announcement follows the recent appointment of Mike Nolan as Smashburger CEO and a significant recapitalization of Smashburger completed in fourth quarter 2015. In late 2015 Smashburger announced a new 40% strategic partnership with Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest Asian foodservice company with more than 3,000 stores worldwide.

“Smashburger is at an inflection point,” says Ryan. “All the ingredients are in place to take Smashburger to the next level as we restore burgers to their rightful place.”

Smashburger currently operates and is in development in more than 365 restaurants across the United States, United Kingdom, Kuwait, Canada, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. For more information, visit

SOURCE: Smashburger

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