April 14, 2024

Chicago based bank aquires majority stake in Whataburger

Merchant bank BDT Capital Partners, LLC is now the majority stakeholder in San Antonio based Whataburger. The company invests in family founded companies has agreed to acquire the family owned business through its affiliated funds.

The announcement was publicly made on Friday, June 14 by Whataburger.

For the past 69 years, Whataburger has been family owned. The new owners vowed to stay true to the brand that has been built for decades.

As we know, Whataburger’s headquarters will remain in San Antonio as BDT is based in Chicago, IL.

“Whataburger is an iconic brand and extraordinary company with an important legacy of family ownership, loyal customers, valuable community involvement, dedicated and talented employees, and a highly experienced management team,” said Tiffany Hagge, Managing Director of BDT Capital Partners. “We look forward to a long-term partnership with the Whataburger team, continuing their commitment to serving high-quality, great-tasting food at a value and delivering a superior customer experience. We are excited to support Whataburger as they continue to innovate and pursue accelerated growth in existing and new markets. This investment is a perfect example of BDT’s business model – to partner and invest alongside exceptional family businesses, with strong cultures, deep community ties and loyal customers.”

Effective July 1, 2019 changes in Whataburger’s executive leadership will include:

  • Ed Nelson –  Nelson is currently serving as chief financial officer and controller and will be promoted to president. Nelson joined Whataburger in 2004 as controller for the company. Since 2008, Nelson has been at the helm of Whataburger’s financial department as chief financial officer, overseeing all finance, accounting, treasury and business risk and reporting operations for 828 restaurants across 10 states. He holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Clemson University.
  • Leonard Mazzocco is currently serving as vice president of business operations and will take on the role of senior vice president and chief operating officer. Mazzocco joined Whataburger in 1999 as the operations services director and has since guided efforts in brand management, marketing, human resources, supply chain, shared services and product development. He was promoted to his current role in 2014, where he has led strategic planning. Mazzocco is a graduate of Creighton University.
  • Rob Rodriguez is currently serving as senior vice president of restaurants and will assume the role of senior vice president and chief restaurant operating officer. A 30-year restaurant industry veteran, Rodriguez is an experienced multi-unit leader with a track record of delivering exceptional customer service. Under his guidance, his teams have successfully piloted new models used in concept revitalization, opened and expanded new restaurant markets, and surpassed sales forecasts. Rodriguez joined Whataburger in 2006 as a director of operations and was named a senior vice president in 2014.
  • James Turcotte is currently senior vice president of the real estate segment and will continue in his role and be promoted to chief development officer. Turcotte began his Whataburger career in 1998 as a director in the real estate division. He then took on the role of group director followed by vice president of franchise development. In 2004, Turcotte was named vice president of property and facilities to oversee new construction, enhancement and property management functions. Turcotte is a graduate of Texas A&M University.
  • Mike Sobel is currently vice president of retail and will be promoted to senior vice president of retail. Sobel joined Whataburger in 2011 as the company’s group director for supply chain solutions, before assuming his current role in 2014. Sobel brings almost 35 years of experience in supply chain, quality assurance and product development experience in the restaurant industry.
  • Michael Gibbs is currently senior vice president and general counsel and will continue his role as general counsel and will be promoted to executive vice president. Gibbs joined Whataburge rin 2005 as the company’s first ever in-house general counsel. Prior to joining Whataburger, he practiced corporate law and served as vice president and general counsel for a Detroit-based restaurant chain. He holds bachelor’s degrees in biology and economics from Ripon College, as well as an MBA from Emory University, and a law degree from Wayne State University.