Cheryl Bachelder is a passionate, purpose-led business leader -- the former CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Cheryl is known for her crisp strategic thinking, a franchisee-focused approach, and superior financial performance. Guided by the servant leadership thinking of Robert Greenleaf, she believes highly caring, collaborative leaders with big ambitions for the enterprise, not themselves, generate the conditions for people to perform their best work.
Cheryl served as CEO of Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc., a NASDAQ traded company with over 2,600 restaurants in 26 countries, from 2007 to 2017. The story of Popeyes success is chronicled in her book, Dare to Serve: How to drive superior results by serving others. During her tenure, Popeyes’ stock price grew from $11 to $61, at which time the board sold the company to Restaurant Brands International Inc. for $1.8 billion dollars or $79 per share in March, 2017.
Cheryl’s earlier career included brand leadership roles at Yum Brands, Domino’s Pizza, RJR Nabisco, The Gillette Company and Procter & Gamble.
Cheryl serves as a director on the boards of US Foods Holding Corp. (USFD), and Chick-Fil-A, Inc. She sits on the advisory board of Procter & Gamble’s franchising venture, Tide Dry Cleaners. She is a board member of CEO Forum, an organization that encourages and develops leadership capability in CEOs and senior executives.
Cheryl holds a Bachelor’s and Masters of Business Administration degree from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She is married 38 years to Chris Bachelder and they have three grown daughters, two terrific son-in-laws, and four handsome grandsons. Cheryl and Chris reside in Atlanta, Georgia and attend Buckhead Church. They are avid learners, fans of the classical education movement, and can always be found reading a good book!
Website: Serving Performs at www.cherylbachelder.com
Cheryl Bachelder, Formerly of Popeyes - Why We Recognized Her:
Bachelder rebuilt Popeye’s by being not just a great business strategist but also a friend and co-worker who cared as well as a CEO, treating franchisees, their employees and even customers like family as she took the company from floundering to fantastic success. She would often ask about and discuss personal issues with her franchisees and employees or share her own, like when she politely walked out of a board meeting because her family needed her, and made sure everyone else in her company knew she expected any of them to do the same under similar circumstances.
The author of “Dare to Serve” currently sits on the boards of both food distributor US Foods and Chick-fil-A, two companies trying to navigate the pandemic. She also mentors CEOs behind the scenes on how to be humble so they can be more approachable, and subsequently more credible, leaders. She also has an amazing ability to look at issues such as diversity and inclusion from a real and personal point of view that recasts the conversation from one of “us-versus-them” thinking that demonizes the other side to one that shares and educates a different perspective. She recently explained to an interviewer who innocently asked whether it was wrong for a business associate to compliment a woman on her attire, and she explained that she personally would prefer to simply be complimented on her work.
Tenure at Current Position
|Director at US Foods Holding Corp, Director at Chick-Fil-A, Inc.||Chick-Fil-A -April 2019 - Present, US Foods - October 2018 - Present||CEO, Popeyes® Louisiana Kitchen, Inc.|