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Burger King marketing chief leaving company

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October 17, 2013 10:46 AM EST | AP

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NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — Burger King named a new global chief marketing officer on Thursday, marking the departure of at least the third high-ranking executive since the chain went public last year.

The Miami-based company said it was promoting Axel Schwan, vice president of marketing and communications for the Europe, the Middle East and Africa, to global chief marketing officer, effective Jan. 1. He replaces Flavia Faugeres, who had joined the company in 2011.

The moves come after 3G Capital, the Brazilian investment firm that bought Burger King Worldwide Inc. in 2010, took the chain public last year. 3G more than recouped what it paid for the company in the deal, which was structured to allow it to maintain a majority stake in Burger King.

Since then, 3G has moved Bernardo Hees, a principal at the firm that it had installed as CEO of Burger King, to head H.J. Heinz Co. 3G teamed up with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to buy the ketchup maker earlier this year.

To replace Hees as CEO of Burger King, 3G installed Daniel Schwartz, another one of its principals. Schwarz was 32 at the time at the time of the appointment.

Last month, Burger King also said in a regulatory filing that Steve Wiborg, chairman of if its North American operations, was leaving the company Oct. 25. Wiborg had been a Burger King franchisee, and his appointment was meant in part to improve relations with franchisees.

Burger King said in a press release that the latest change was part of a "long-term strategic plan."

Jonathan Maze, editor of industry watcher Restaurant Finance Monitor, noted that Burger King has been subject to frequent management changes over the years.

"You get new people who come in and they bring new ideas. It can be disconcerting for franchisees," Maze said.