Chris Tussing, the former chief marketing officer for Marco’s Pizza, has come on board at Buddy’s Pizza, the creator of Detroit-style pizza, to take the reins of CEO. Tussing, in turn, has hired Joe Dominiak as Buddy’s chief operating officer.

Tussing helped Marco’s become the fifth-largest pizza brand in the country, with $1 billion in annual sales.

“I knew coming in that Buddy’s had a rich heritage rooted in high-quality food and hospitality,” Tussing said. “What became apparent, soon after joining, was how deep of an emotional bond there is between the brand and our team members and guests.”

Related: What are the elements of an authentic Detroit-style pizza?

Buddy’s employs nearly 1,500 people through its corporate-owned stores and sees an employee retention rate well above industry averages, according to a company press release. “I love hearing the pride in team members’ voices when they tell me they’ve been here 30-plus years, 20 years or 17 years,” Tussing said. “There is a passion here not found in many brands.”

Throughout his 30-year career, Tussing has helped launch brands and revitalize long-established but declining ones. He’s worked with several major Fortune 500 companies, like Clorox, Wrigley, Mars and Anheuser-Busch, as well as mid-sized companies and startups. An expert in strategy and brand positioning, he has worked at a number of the world’s leading global marketing networks in New York, Chicago and San Francisco.

As CEO of Buddy’s Pizza, Tussing is responsible for driving enterprise growth for the Detroit-style pizza leader, which now has 22 locations throughout Michigan.

Dominiak, Buddy’s new chief operating officer, brings extensive experience with brands like Skyline Chili, Tilted Kilt and Camp Bow Wow. He is responsible for driving operational excellence and delivering employee and guest engagement.

Dominiak comes to Buddy’s Pizza with more than 25 years of industry experience. Most recently he was president and COO of the ARC Group, a publicly-traded, multi-concept restaurant portfolio with 329 locations nationwide. He guided ARC Group through identifying, vetting and integration of brand mergers and acquisitions to the portfolio, steering brands as they transitioned from company-owned operations to franchisee-focused brands, and leading their unit and top-line sales growth.

“Buddy’s set a new standard for pizza 77 years ago, and it’s inspiring to see the heart and craft team members put into the product and guest experience every day,” Dominiak said. “I’m excited to work with Chris and the team to help this iconic brand scale successfully.”

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