Michael McCathrenEnterprise Innovation, Innovation & New Ventures at Chick-fil-A, Inc.
Michael McCathren is a 30-year restaurant veteran whose experience includes Operations, Supply Chain, Finance and Marketing responsibilities in the quick casual and fast-food segments. He has worked and consulted for companies including la Madeleine French Bakery & Cafes, Kmart, Applebee's, Genghis Grill, Huber Industries and Operation Mobilization.
Michael joined Chick-fil-A eighteen years ago as a regional marketing consultant, then later in 2008, established the company’s Interactive Digital Marketing group. In that role, Michael was responsible for all consumer-facing digital communications, websites, social media strategies, online customer relationships, mobile strategies, retail gift card program as well as local and market-level digital marketing consulting services available to Chick-fil-A franchisees.
In 2015, Michael was selected to lead one of three long-term business priorities for Chick-fil-A – growing the breakfast daypart. In this role, he brought a brand management approach to cross functional collaboration in order to align craveable menu offerings with convenience strategies, as well as media and messaging tactics designed to triple unaided awareness by 2020.
Michael currently leads Enterprise Innovation in the Innovation & New Ventures group at Chick-fil-A where he and his team are responsible for helping the organization transform its ideas into business value. He has created an innovation ecosystem in a decentralized environment that includes identifying external disruptions and opportunities, providing internal consulting services, and overseeing a 37,000 sq ft innovation center.
In addition, Michael is an adjunct professor in the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia, teaching Innovation Management in the Professional MBA program, holds a Master of Science degree in Innovation from Northeastern University in Boston, and is the author of 6Ps of Essential Innovation: Creating the Culture and Capabilities of a Resilient Innovation Organization.