Corner Office Shifts: Sami Siddiqui gets new role at RBI

Plus, Aurora Cannabis bumps newly named CCO to top executive role, and Save-On-Foods makes several leadership changes.
Corner Office, Boardroom, Drew Beamer, Unsplash

Sami Siddiqui returns to North America to lead Popeyes in the Americas

Restaurant Brands International has moved the long-time company exec into the role of president for Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in the Americas, a region that includes Canada. He replaces Felipe Athayde, who has left to become CEO of U.S.-based hair salon operator Regis Corporation.

Siddiqui returns to North America having most recently served as president of Asia-Pacific for RBI, leading the Popeyes, Burger King and Tim Hortons chains throughout the region and introducing the Popeyes brand in China and the Philippines. He has also served as CFO of Burger King and president of Tim Hortons Canada.

Since introducing a chicken sandwich a year ago, Popeyes has experienced strong growth, with same-store sales growing by more than 25% in each quarter, including 38% in Q4 of 2019.

In a statement, RBI chief exec Jose Cil said the chain’s menu innovation led to “unprecedented growth” and that Siddiqui has “an excellent track record working with our franchisees to drive our brand and restaurant expansion.”

Aurora Cannabis’ chief commercial officer becomes CEO

Miguel Martin will lead the Edmonton-based licensed cannabis producer as chief executive officer, having previously been appointed chief commercial officer in July.

He replaces interim CEO Michael Singer, who remains executive chairman, and who took the helm after founder and CEO Terry Booth exited the company in February. At that time, Aurora cut around 500 jobs, including roughly 25% of corporate positions, as it announced roughly $1 billion in impairment charges.

As chief commercial officer, Martin oversaw marketing and sales for the producer of recreational and medical marijuana. He previously served as president of Aurora USA and head of Reliva, an American producer of hemp-derived CBD, which Aurora acquired in May 2020. Before that, he was president of Logic Technology, a manufacturer of electronic cigarettes.

Aurora’s portfolio of cannabis brands includes Aurora, Aurora Drift, San Rafael ’71, AltaVie, MedReleaf, and CanniMed.

Save-On-Foods shuffles leadership team

The B.C.-based chain of supermarkets has made several changes to its leadership team to support the next phase of its growth strategy and drive long-term results, according to a press release issued last week.

Jamie Nelson, whose current duties include oversight of marketing, is taking on a larger remit as executive vice-president. He will now oversee the company’s digital and analytics functions, and continue to lead merchandising, real estate and store development, people and communications.

Among several other changes, VP of people and communications Heidi Ferriman has been promoted to president of people and corporate affairs; managing director of data and analytics Andy Donaher becomes VP of digital and analytics (a role that includes leading the company’s e-commerce platform); and former EVP of finance Paul Hazra assumes the role of CFO, adding I.T. and the development of an “enterprise planning function” to his remit.