Collins Foods CEO Drew O'Malley to step down after family tragedy

Collins Foods CEO Drew O'Malley to step down after family tragedy

Drew O'Malley, the CEO and managing director of Australian KFC and Taco Bell restaurant operator Collins Foods (ASX: CKF), has announced his intention to step down next month after his wife recently passed away due to a serious illness.

O'Malley has been with the company since 2017 when he assumed the role of chief operating officer, before being promoted to the job at the height of COVID-19 in July 2020.

The Collins Foods board granted the executive an extended leave of absence in February 2024 to support his wife Jola and their family while she underwent treatment.

Tragically, Jola passed away in April and O’Malley has decided to step down to focus on his family.

"The board extends its deepest condolences to Drew and his family and thanks him for his very significant contribution to the company over the past seven years," Collins Foods chairman Robert Kaye SC said in a statement to the ASX this afternoon.

"Drew led the business through the unprecedented COVID pandemic and has consistently delivered strong financial results during his time as CEO.

"His tenure has overseen a period of significant operational expansion in Australia and Europe, driving strong growth in shareholder returns. He leaves the group in a strong financial and operational position, well-placed for future growth.

"On behalf of the board and the entire Collins Foods team, we wish Drew all the best with his family and in his future endeavours."

Board director and former CEO Kevin Perkins, who is currently Collins Foods' largest shareholder with a 6.16 per cent stake and has more than four decades' experience with the company, has been leading the group in an interim capacity since O'Malley went on leave and will remain as interim CEO and managing director while the board undertakes a local and international search.

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