- Foxtrot has named Liz Williams CEO, effective immediately, while co-founder and previous CEO Mike LaVitola is moving into the chairman role, according to an emailed press release on Monday.
- The Chicago-based boutique c-store company hired Williams as its first president and CFO in June of 2022, placing her in charge of operations, finance, strategy, development and supply chain.
- Williams brings experience at expanding companies and working on branding. She previously worked as CFO of Taco Bell and then president of Taco Bell International, where she was “responsible for the brand strategy, growth and performance of the international business across 30 countries,” according to the announcement.
As it ramps up its growth plans, Foxtrot has turned to an executive with experience helping oversee major companies, including a large-scale restaurant chain.
Foxtrot currently has 26 locations in Chicago, Dallas, Austin and the greater Washington, D.C., area. It has noted plans to expand to areas like New York City, Boston and Miami. At an event hosted by RetailSpaces earlier this year, Williams noted Foxtrot has also scouted locations on the West Coast.
During her time with Foxtrot, Williams has helped boost efficiency in the company’s operations.
“A lot of the work we're doing is the low hanging fruit ... just aggregating our purchasing,” Williams said during her presentation at the RetailSpaces event. “I think there's there's big opportunity there.”
She noted that most of Foxtrot’s locations to date have been uniquely designed. But now that it has more than 20 locations, there may be ways to streamline the construction and design process as it ramps up growth.
“Which designs do we really love?” she said. “And how do we template those so that we can recreate them?”
Foxtrot’s stores focus on locally sourced products, foodservice and a cozy, upscale neighborhood market feel. The stores allocate 30%-40% of space to the product market, between 20%-30% to its cafe and the rest to grab-and-go items, Williams noted during her presentation.
In addition to Williams’ time at Taco Bell, she was also briefly CEO at Drybar, a salon chain specializing in blow-outs and hair care and styling items. She also serves on the board of e-commerce retailer Stitch Fix and advertising software company Viant.
"Since joining our team last summer, Liz’s inspirational leadership, deep admiration for the Foxtrot brand and depth of operating expertise has taken us to new heights," said LaVitola in the press release.
All of Foxtrot’s offerings are currently available both in stores and via delivery through the company’s app.