He also talked about his father, Bruton Smith, and why the company opted to pause the expansion of its One Sonic-One Experience in favor of growing EchoPark in an interview with Staff Reporter Melissa Burden last month at Sonic’s headquarters here. Here are edited excerpts.
Q: What are some significant changes you’ve made in your first nine months as CEO, and what have you learned about the company during that time?
A: We got away from a lot of different projects that we were doing. So the first week of the year, we, unfortunately, had to eliminate 43 jobs. But a lot of that was … to sort of right-size us, get us focused on the things that we do, which is our core business and EchoPark.
It’s really pretty simple. We had a meeting in Houston where we had all of our leadership, and not just the top executives, but the top 400 or so of our leaders in the company, and we just had a real big kickoff meeting there and let them know what our expectations were. So we sort of sent out…