Thursday, June 9, 2011
Clarifying Dallas mayoral candidate Mike Rawlings’ former title at Pizza Hut
He wasn't the CEO technically, but he was the top executive.
DALLAS Mike Rawlings' name has been tacked with all sorts of titles during his run for Dallas mayor against David Kunkle: CEO of Tracy-Locke, CEO of Legends, president of the Dallas Park & Recreation Board, the “homeless czar.” But perhaps most often, he's referred to as former president and CEO at Pizza Hut. Only, that's not technically true.
A spokesperson from Pizza Hut confirmed that Rawlings wasn't the CEO from 1997 to 2003. But he did hold the top executive title, called “chief concept officer.”
“We decided to make us a very non-businessy sort of place and make it a very foodie restaurant place,” Rawlings said of his time at Pizza Hut. “As opposed to region managers, for instance, we had region coaches. As opposed to head of HR, we made chief people officer. … I was the chief concept officer as opposed to the chief executive officer, which was a business, Wall Street title. But I was the chief executive; there was no one above me.”
We confirmed with Pizza Hut that it's true. Since Rawlings has been with Pizza Hut, the company has re-instated the CEO title -- perhaps because it just makes more sense.
(Plus, who would want to be "chief people officer?")
As to why Rawlings' bio says "president and CEO of Dallas-based Pizza Hut" when that's not technically true, Rawlings said, "First of all, I was the chief executive. Second of all, I think when the title was changed to CEO at Pizza Hut -- which was done recently -- they went back and said, 'That was the job he had, and he used that title.'"