Barry Gibbons, former chief executive of the US-based Burger King Corporation, will officially open World Travel Market 2012, the leading global event for the travel industry, on Monday November 5th at ExCel London.
Dubbed the ‘Turnaround Champ’, he will talk about creating and maintaining business in a phenomenally tough economic climate.
“Within a year of taking over the role of chief executive of Burger King, Barry was opening two new restaurants a day around the world, attracting thousands of hungry travellers on a budget,” said Fiona Jeffery, chairman of World Travel Market.
“During five years as chief of one of the world’s leading fast food chains, he received international recognition for his outstanding business performance.”
When Gibbons took over running the US-based Burger King in 1989 as part of the Pillsbury Group by the UK company Grand Metropolitan, it was losing money with not one of its international businesses in a healthy state.
At the time, the average $1 million annual profit a year compared dismally with their main rival of MacDonald’s $1.5 billion.
Franchisees were earning poor profits and many restaurants were short staffed, dirty and badly in need of renovation.
Within four years, Gibbons made a pre-tax profit of $250 million, trading positively in 55 countries.
“Getting through some of the worst economic times in living memory is uppermost in the industry’s minds right now, particularly in UK and Europe”, said Jeffery.
“We hope that World Travel Market can help play its part in connecting travel businesses, sectors and markets for mutual, sustainable benefit.”
Fortune Magazine first gave Barry Gibbons the title of ‘Turn around Champ’ after his phenomenal success in boosting Burger King’s fortunes.
Gibbons retired in 1994 from Burger King aged just 44, largely because he prefers to build companies, not simply maintain them.
He went on to become a successful entrepreneur and author.
World Travel Market’s Opening Ceremony is on Monday November 5th, 11:30, Platinum Suite 3 and 4, ExCeL London.