Sonic executive John Budd will serve in the “chief operating officer” position created by Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt, a spokeswoman for the new governor confirmed Monday.
Budd will also serve as Secretary of Agency Accountability, a new Cabinet-level position being created by Stitt.
“In my conversation with governors from across the nation, I heard many credit their success to the hiring of a chief operating officer,” Stitt said in a news release.
“This new COO role will be key to fulfilling my campaign commitment of delivering efficient, customer-centered government throughout our 120 agencies.”
Stitt said Budd “will be tasked with taking a holistic look at ways to more efficiently and effectively implement services and meet today’s modern demands on state government.”
Budd’s appointment, first reported by The Oklahoman, is in keeping with Stitt’s promise to populate his administration with people who have little to no experience in state government.
Stitt has said he wants the COO to oversee state agencies and the implementation of policy. A position with a mission defined as such has not previously existed at the Cabinet level.
At Sonic, Budd is executive vice president and chief strategy and business development officer. Last fall it was announced that the Oklahoma City-based fast-food chain had been sold to Inspire Brands, owner of Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Budd’s appointment was endorsed by former Tulsa Mayor and Sonic board member Kathy Taylor, former Sonic Chief Executive Officer Cliff Hudson and Sonic President Claudia San Pedro, a former chief financial officer for the state of Oklahoma.
Before joining Sonic in 2013, Budd was a partner and managing director with Boston Consulting Group, an international firm that advises clients on strategies and best practices.
Budd holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and marketing from the University of Pennsylvania and master’s of business administration from Northwestern. He is a director of Oklahoma City-based Origin LLC, the parent company of Jenks’ Flying Tee complex.
Rebecca Budd, Budd’s wife, serves on the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education.