7-Eleven announced Ken Wakabayashi as the new co-CEO of 7-Eleven International (7IN), following his now prior role as 7-Eleven’s senior vice president and head of International. Wakabayashi will now lead the 7-Eleven brand’s global growth strategy alongside co-CEO Shinji Abe from Seven-Eleven Japan.
“We are thrilled to offer our congratulations to Ken Wakabayashi on this exciting new role,” said Joe DePinto, 7-Eleven president and CEO. “With this move, Ken will help lead the 7IN team to further our global growth strategy and provide world-class value and support to our International Licensees and Master Franchisees.”
As co-CEOs of 7IN, Wakabayashi and Abe will be responsible for all operations outside North America and Japan as well as overseeing the 7–Eleven trademark globally.
“This change reinforces 7-Eleven, Inc.’s and Seven-Eleven Japan’s commitment to the growth of the 7–Eleven brand and to providing value and support to our Licensee and Master Franchisee organizations,” said Wakabayashi. “We are well positioned for growth and long-term value creation as we focus on expanding the brand into new territories and provide an enhanced support structure for our existing territories.”
This announcement comes following the formation of 7-Eleven International. By combining the strengths that joint owners 7-Eleven and Seven-Eleven Japan have cultivated in their local markets into the new entity, 7IN will able to better leverage 7-Eleven’s product development capabilities; digital technology; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives, while maintaining its position as a global brand.
Along with this exciting change comes a team revitalization in support of international growth and enhancement of the 7-Eleven brand worldwide. DePinto, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Chris Tanco and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Stan Reynolds from 7-Eleven, along with Wakabayashi, will serve on the 7IN board of directors.
Based in Irving, Texas, 7-Eleven operates, franchises and/or licenses more than 14,000 stores in the U.S. and Canada. In addition to 7-Eleven stores, 7-Eleven operates and franchises Speedway, Stripes, Laredo Taco Company and Raise the Roost Chicken and Biscuits locations. It is known for its iconic brands such as Slurpee, Big Bite and Big Gulp.
With offices in Dallas and Tokyo, 7–Eleven International master franchises and/or licenses more than 41,000 stores in 14 countries and regions: Australia, Cambodia, China, India, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, China (Taiwan), Thailand, Viet Nam, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. The brand also operates corporate and/or franchise stores in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Japan. Globally, the 7-Eleven trademark is represented in over 77,000 stores.