Reported by Liku Zelleke
When it was recently announced that Burger King was looking to merge with Tim Horton’s and move its headquarters to Canada, many thought it was a scheme that had been thought up by people that had been in the world of finance for decades.
The fact that Burger King was making the merger to save on its corporate tax bill added to that belief.
Many will be surprised to know that the person behind the merger is Burger King’s Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Schwartz. He’s only 34 years old.
Despite his youth, Schwartz isn’t the only young blood at the helm of the company. Joshua Kobza is the Chief Financial Officer and he’s just 28. The head of investor relations is Sami Siddiqui and he is 29.
For the sake of comparison, the average age of the CEOs in S&P 500 is 57. The youngest among them, at 30, is Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the oldest is Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett, who is 84 years old.
For those that have any doubts about Schwartz’s financial prowess, they only need look at the 60% rise of Burger King’s shares since he took over. His hands-on leadership has him being given credit for boosting profit through cost saving and simplified menu offerings. He doesn’t back out from cleaning toilets and actually making food at local franchises – all in the name of finding ways to improve operational efficiency.
Schwartz was a partner at 3G Capital Partners, the Brazilian-based private equity firm that has a 70% stake in Burger King. He only became the CEO last summer. His resume includes experience at Credit Suisse First Boston and Altair Capital Management, a Connecticut hedge fund. He graduated from Cornell in 2001.
After the news broke on the merger between Burger King and Tim Horton’s, his company’s stock jumped another 20%.
It looks like this is just the beginning of the rise of Schwarz’s star. What do you think? Is he too young or just right?