Steve Horn

Steve Horn

Janet Sparks reports at BlueMauMau that following much turmoil and bad press over its legal team’s aggressive tactics against franchisees, Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis has just announced the latest in his reorganization of corporate executives, stating that the company’s controversial chief legal counsel Stephen Horn is leaving to pursue new opportunities.  His email letter to franchise operators reads, 

Dear Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins Franchisees,

After 10 years with Dunkin’ Brands, Steve Horn has decided to take this opportunity to announce his intent to leave the company. Steve has communicated that he will pursue new opportunities including his passion for writing. A well known author, Steve has had significant success with his two previous novels and has decided that this is the time for him to start the third. At our request, Steve had agreed to stay on working with myself on special projects until the end of December.

Steve has always striven to act in the best interests of our brands, our franchisees’ investment in those brands, our customers and the thousands of employees in our restaurants who work so hard to serve these customers. We appreciate Steve’s integrity, his total dedication to the company and his many years of service.

On an interim basis and effective immediately, Arthur Anastos, director and managing counsel, will assume management of the legal department.

We plan to quickly recruit an experienced general counsel from the outside. With that hiring of a new general counsel, we will have finalized our Dunkin’ Brands leadership team.

I look forward to discussing the new organization with you and our exciting plans for the future at the upcoming RAC meetings and as I visit markets around the country.

Thank you for your support,

Nigel Travis
Dunkin’ Brands CEO and Dunkin’ Donuts President

Robert Zarco, Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski & Brito, representing a number of franchisees, recently affirmed that the franchisor’s “loss prevention” department headed up by Horn has been turning its lawsuits against operators into a major “profit center.” In hearing today’s announcement, Zarco stated, “I believe these draconian tactics have caught up with Steve Horn. He has been a bully for years.”

Zarco also feels that the franchisees uniting into an association has demonstrated the force and strength it can have with a franchisor. He said, “It’s only because the franchisees got together that they were able to effectuate this kind of impact and resolve. My hat goes off to them.” But he added, And, congratulations to the board of directors of Dunkin’ Brands for making what I am sure was a very difficult but appropriate decision, which has been long overdue.”

Read more at: BlueMauMau