Boyden Executive Search

A standout executive from a leading franchiser of quick service restaurants shares his views on the industry and leadership lessons from his book on the ‘Challenge Culture’.

NEW YORK, April 9, 2019 Boyden, a premier global talent and leadership advisory firm, today released the latest issue of its Leadership Series, featuring an in-depth interview with Nigel Travis, Non-Executive Chairman of Dunkin' Brands.

In the interview, Travis discusses Dunkin’ Brands’ brand evolvement, the importance of creating a “challenge culture,” dramatic changes in the food & beverage sector, what went right and wrong at Blockbuster and Papa John’s, the importance of a diverse board and management team, and why soft skills are critical.

“Nigel’s tremendous longevity as a CEO and Chairman with leading consumer brands and his success are well-earned,” said Trina Gordon, President & CEO of Boyden. “We’re delighted that he shared his invaluable insights in our Boyden Leadership Series.”

“As a food & beverage industry executive and as a friend for the past 15 years, I greatly admire Nigel as a leader and a visionary,” added Gary Dempsey, a Partner of Boyden United States. “He has a special talent for taking organizations to the next phase of growth and navigating company challenges, industry shifts and market forces.”

Travis was appointed Non-Executive Chairman of the Board of Dunkin’ Brands in December 2018. He previously served as Chief Executive Officer of Dunkin’ Brands, from January 2009 to July 2018, with added responsibility as Chairman of the Board in May 2013.

From 2005 through 2008, Travis served as President and CEO of Papa John’s, at that time a pizza chain with annual system-wide sales of $2.1 billion and more than 3,300 restaurants throughout the U.S. and 29 international markets. Under his leadership, Papa John’s accomplished outstanding results, with industry-leading comp sales, consistent earnings growth and excellent franchise relationships. Also during his tenure, Papa John’s online sales tripled through the innovative use of technology. Travis also helped position the company’s international business as a major growth platform and oversaw the successful rollout of several new products, including Papa’s Pan Pizza.

Prior to Papa John’s, Travis was with Blockbuster, Inc. from 1994 to 2004, where he served in roles of increasing responsibility, including President and Chief Operating Officer. During that time, global sales increased over 50% and the international business was developed to encompass 26 countries with revenues of $1.8 billion. Travis also built a worldwide franchise network of 300 franchisees in 15 countries with revenues of approximately $1 billion. He transitioned the company from a video rental store chain to a complete movie and game source.

Before Blockbuster, Travis was with Burger King, first as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and later Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. As Managing Director, he turned the region around, significantly increasing sales and operating profits. He dramatically increased the rate of regional store development, and successfully drove expansion into new countries and alternative points of distribution.

Travis received a bachelor’s degree in business administration for Middlesex University in England. He previously served as Lead Director on the Board of Directors for Office Depot, where he currently serves as a board member. Other public boards on which he serves are Advance Auto Parts and Abercrombie & Fitch. Travis also serves as Chairman of Leyton Orient Football Club, leading a business consortium to take on ownership of the storied English football club in June 2017.

He is the author of the book The Challenge Culture: Why the Most Successful Organizations Run on Pushback, published in September 2018.

About the Series
Boyden’s Leadership Series is an ongoing publication that highlights the views of high-profile business leaders on issues relevant to leadership, management and talent acquisition. The series’ editors conduct interviews with heads of corporations and other key organizations across the globe to further growth and the exchange of ideas.


Dan Margolis, for Boyden
T: +1 213 452-6472

Michelle King, Dunkin’ Brands
T: +1 781 737-5200

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