CEO, Restaurant Brands International Inc.

By Heather Haddon 

This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (August 17, 2019).

Less than a year after José Cil secured a regional-manager job at Walmart, the former Burger King executive got a call from the new head of his old company. Daniel Schwartz, the then-30-year-old CEO installed by private-equity firm 3G Capital LLC to shake up the fast-food chain, was trying to lure him back.

"I thought it was crazy. I had just left," Mr. Cil said.

Mr. Cil returned, and he credits Mr. Schwartz with changing his career's trajectory and teaching him the importance of personal involvement in hiring. As the new chief executive of Restaurant Brands International Inc., Mr. Cil says he seeks counsel from advisers including a Jesuit priest and a pizza-chain executive about the right questions to ask, not necessarily what he should do.

Here, four trusted advisers:

Daniel Schwartz

Co-chairman of Restaurant Brands' board

When Mr. Schwartz called upon him to return to Burger King, Mr. Cil said, the burger chain's new owners didn't know much about running restaurants, but they understood the importance of tapping talent.

"A lot of folks outsource the acquisition of talent to search firm, recruitment firms," he said. "The most powerful resource to bring in talent is me, it's Dan, it's us. We are our own chief people officers."

Messrs. Cil and Schwartz have since traveled the world together scouting for new places and people to open Burger Kings.

Father Guillermo "Willie" Garcia-Tuñon

Belen Jesuit Preparatory School president, Jesuit priest

Mr. Cil and Father Garcia-Tuñon attended the same Miami Catholic school founded by Cuban immigrants, and he turns to the Jesuit priest for counsel on "major fork-of-the-road decisions" in life. "He's been instrumental, not so much in telling me what to do, but guiding me through his questions," Mr. Cil said.

Jim Hyatt

Chief Executive Officer, California Pizza Kitchen

Mr. Hyatt was Burger King's chief operating officer when he encouraged Mr. Cil to shift to operations from legal. He has instilled the importance of keeping franchisees happy to stay profitable in a fast-food company, Mr. Cil said. "He's instilled in me how important it is to appreciate and respect what franchisees do. They are investing their own blood, sweat, tears and money into the business," he said.

Elsie Romero

Chief Administrative Officer, Restaurant Services Inc.

Ms. Romero hired Mr. Cil for his first in-house counsel job at Burger King, and has helped him understand the importance of emotional intelligence since, he said. "I didn't understand the power of relationships and connections," he said. Now an executive for Burger King's supplier cooperative, Ms. Romero led a forum at Burger King that helped women advance at the company. Mr. Cil said it exemplifies 3G's focus on leadership culture.

Write to Heather Haddon at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 17, 2019 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)

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