Adweek, one of America’s top media advertising publications, is touting the business acumen of Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, highlighting his “stellar career” as an executive.
“Cain has something rarely seen among Oval Office aspirants: genuine branding and marketing credentials,” Adweek observes.
“Not only did Cain spend nearly two decades building brands, but he also did it in the dog-eat-dog world of restaurants.”
Cain joined Pillsbury Restaurant Group in 1977, became a vice president two years later, then moved to its troubled Burger King division and had remarkable success, returning 400 underperforming restaurants to financial health.
Cain assumed the presidency of the Godfather’s Pizza chain in 1986 and saved it from bankruptcy in just 14 months before leading a buyout of the brand.
Then in 1996, Cain became president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association, turning it into a powerful lobbying group in Washington.
“When I became president and CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, it was supposed to go bankrupt,” Cain says on his YouTube campaign video. “But I didn’t get the memo. We turned it around with common-sense business principles. And we can turn this country around the same way.”
Cain says that as president he would seek to cut taxes and eliminate burdensome business regulations.
“I view the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza as the godfather of the tea party movement,” political activist Lloyd Marcus, author of “Confessions of a Black Conservative,” told Adweek.
A recent media report played down Cain’s success at Godfather’s, claiming he rescued the company “by shuttering hundreds of units.”
But Rick Berman, a former Pillsbury vice president and now a Washington lobbyist, said Cain “took the company from where it was to something better, and if shutting down a portion of it was a good strategy, it was probably one that Pillsbury should have employed.”
As for Cain’s new goal, the White House, former Darden Restaurants senior executive and communications consultant Rick Van Warner told Adweek: “Anyone who has Herman’s financial discipline would be great for the country.”