Tom Coba has a compelling leadership record in hospitality (QSR restaurants) and multi-unit consumer service companies in residential and commercial sectors. His recent role as President/CEO of the $2.6B Franchise Services Group of ServiceMaster, the holding company. In 2011, ServiceMaster brought Tom in to the general leadership opportunity to lead five of their businesses. Tom’s business success in the Franchise Services Group was instrumental in positioning ServiceMaster to complete a successful initial public offering in June 2014.
Tom led 5 Market Leading brands with a mix of Franchise and Company operations, domestically and Internationally in 21 countries. Within the portfolio he managed were ServiceMaster Clean, ServiceMaster Restore, Merry Maids, AmeriSpec (home inspections), and Furniture Medic businesses.
In 2004, the Subway Brand brought Tom on as Chief Operations Officer, reporting to Founder and Owner, Fred DeLuca. During his seven-year run, Subway grew to 37,000 restaurants and went from $8 billion to $16 billion in revenues. As COO, Tom had global responsibility for field and store operations, equipment and décor, global training, customer care (call centers), franchisee services, retail technology, POS and a software help desk. Tom also collaborated with Marketing and Advertising to develop the best Marketing & Advertising strategies to build the brand and launch new products and offerings. Specific initiatives included health and freshness messaging, toasted sandwich roll out, the launch of the $5-foot-long and the implementation of the breakfast day part menu in USA and Canada. Tom led a redesign and remodeling initiative, put in new operating systems, launched business intelligence tools, new online training in multiple languages and worked closely with the franchisee councils on five-year strategy, marketing programs, advertising and product development. During his tenure at Subway, the chain experienced seven consecutive years of same store sales & profit growth, the launch of the $5-foot-long and the launch of breakfast.
Tom’s prior experience was with other global leading brands including Dunkin’ Brands and McDonald’s.
Tom’s tenure spanned 20 years in the Dunkin’ Brands organization moving through operations, real estate & development, franchising, training, marketing and strategic planning roles. From 1993-96 he was the General Manager of a 500 store, $300 million market. In 1998, he led the Northeast market with 950 locations and $800M of volume. He worked across three concepts, Dunkin’ Donuts, Baskin Robbins, and Togos, and had a leadership role in their early co-branding efforts. He also led the reconcepting of the Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins brands and played a lead role integrating the two brands & organizations whose HQ were 3,000 miles apart. As Vice President, Tom led all Franchising and Business Development in the United States and Canada and also led emerging strategies in non-traditional development in venues such as airports, train stations, Supermarkets, big box retailers and college campuses.
With his core strength in operations, Tom has rotated through franchising, marketing, strategy, technology, customer experience and real estate development roles. His deep QSR groundings, leading multiple concepts simultaneously, private equity and board experience, and the ability to transition from Restaurant and Hospitality to Consumer and Commercial services all line up well with his leadership capability in global, highly successful Franchise brands.
Tom was born in Fairfield County, Connecticut, one of seven children and graduated from Fairfield Prep, as a scholar athlete, with multiple awards. He worked in restaurants since the age of 13, both front and back of the house. Tom went to Tufts University in the Boston area and received a BS degree.
Coming out of Tufts, Tom was recruited into McDonald’s management training program on a "fast track" and joined a Metro Boston McDonald’s multi-unit franchisee. He quickly rose from Assistant Manager to Director of Operations as they grew to eight restaurants under Tom’s leadership.