Sandwich shop Potbelly which calls Chicago its “neighborhood,” has announced that Steven W. Cirulis will be joining the QSR executive team as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer, effective immediately. Mr. Cirulis has been with Potbelly since December 2019, serving in a strategic planning, finance and analytical consulting role.
He will now lead the Company’s financial and strategy functions, including financial planning and analysis, accounting and financial reporting, tax, treasury, investor relations and enterprise procurement.
Alan Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Potbelly, commented, “We are pleased to welcome Steve to our executive team. Over the last several months, I’ve seen Steve’s strategic and financial contributions firsthand and believe that he will prove invaluable as we navigate the current environment. Steve has a proven track record of developing and executing growth strategies in the restaurant industry with his extensive time at McDonald’s and Panera, including a focus on off-premise channels. He has also played a key role in the design and implementation of our Project Aurora tests. His insights and leadership will be instrumental as we continue to position Potbelly for a return to growth.”
Cirulis assumes his new role with over 20 years of experience in omnichannel businesses, including retail, restaurants, digital, CPG, hospitality, and entertainment. Most recently, Mr. Cirulis served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Projects at Panera Bread. Prior to his role at Panera Bread, Mr. Cirulis was the Global Vice President, Corporate Strategy at McDonald’s, Senior Director of Strategy, Business Development and Insights, Gap Brand at Gap, Inc., and was Associate Partner at Prophet, Inc.
He is also a Founding Board Member of The Nora Project and Vice President, Board Member of Winnetka Public Schools District 36. Mr. Cirulis completed his undergraduate work at Northwestern University, and earned an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
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Cirulis shared, “I am honored and excited to be appointed as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Strategy Officer of Potbelly at such a pivotal time for our Company. I spent the last few months engaging with employees and customers to develop a deeper understanding of our business and the challenges we currently face, especially in the current environment. It is clear we have the right strategic framework in place, and that we have a solid and sustainable platform for growth when the normal market environment returns. I look forward to working with Alan and the Potbelly team as we navigate today’s near-term challenges and eventually return our focus to long-term value creation.”
Reel Chicago wishes Steven the best of luck in his new roles.