) --


(WEN) - Get Wendy's Company Report

tapped Emil J. Brolick, a company veteran and former executive at

Yum! Brands

(YUM) - Get Yum! Brands, Inc. (YUM) Report

, as its new CEO.

Emil J. Brolick

Wendy's said early Thursday Brolick will take over as president and CEO on Sept. 12 and join the company's board of directors, as current CEO Roland Smith steps down. Smith will continue to serve as a senior adviser to the company through the end of this year, and will remain on the board.

>> Wendy's Drops Arby's Name as Sale Completes

"We are thrilled to welcome Emil back to the Wendy's family," said Wendy's chairman Nelson Peltz. "Emil is a proven brand builder in the restaurant industry who recently led the turnaround of Taco Bell and drove strong same-store sales growth. Emil was also one of the primary architects of Wendy's strategy in the late 1980s, which produced 16 consecutive years of same-store sales growth for the brand. Emil is the perfect CEO to lead Wendy's today -- he is joining Wendy's at a time when the company is performing well with strong sales momentum. Having recently sold Arby's, we are now focusing our resources on driving sales, profits and shareholder value at Wendy's through continued new product development, re-engineering of the core menu, international expansion and investment in the North America restaurants."

>> Wendy's Looks to Emerging Markets as Profit Grows

Previously, Brolick served as COO of Yum! Brands' where he was president of A&W All American Foods and Long John Silver's. He has also been president of Yum! and Taco Bell's president and chief concept officer.

Prior to joining Yum! in 2000, Brolick worked for Wendy's for 12 years, working under company founder Dave Thomas.

Smith has been president and CEO of Wendy's since Sept. 2008.

Shares of Wendy's rose 1.9% to $4.96 in the first minutes of trading Thursday morning.

>> 15 Food Companies That Serve You 'Wood'


Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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