Burger King's president abruptly resigns from fast-food chain, newspaper reports

Wednesday, February 11th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MIAMI (AP) _ The president of Burger King has resigned after just a year on the job amid declining sales for the struggling No. 2 fast-food chain, according to a newspaper report.

Burger King Corp. Chief Executive Brad Blum announced Bob Nilsen's resignation to company employees Tuesday, the Miami Herald said. Blum, who had hired Nilsen to be his second-in-command a month after joining the Miami-based chain in January 2003, did not explain the reason for Nilsen's abrupt resignation or indicate a replacement.

Nilsen, former chief operating officer of Taco Bell, supervised the operations of all franchise and company restaurants and served on the company's board with Blum.

The departure comes just weeks after Burger King fired its lead creative advertising agency, Young & Rubicam Inc., who were hired by Blum in one of his first moves on the job. Soon after, the company began promoting its "fire-grilled" burgers and added products to lure consumers looking for healthier fare.

But the efforts were largely unsuccessful at the company's 11,335 restaurants. Burger King sales declined nearly 2 percent to $11.1 billion in the fiscal year that ended June 30 and industry analysts said the fall has continued.

Burger King spokesman Rob Doughty would not offer further comment to the Herald on the resignation.