Miami-based fastfood giant Burger King Corporation yesterday [Tuesday] announced several key structural changes, and the appointment of a new VP of finance, as the company continues to prepare for its eventual separation from UK-based parent Diageo.

Bennett Nussbaum, executive VP and CFO for Burger King Corp, explained: "This new structure provides for a more focused finance organization. It aligns our resources to enable operation of Burger King Corporation as a stand alone company from a finance perspective, once we have separated from Diageo."

Under this new organization, Sheila Reinken will join the company effective 5 March in the role of VP of finance, reporting to Nussbaum. Reinken has most recently served as the VP and treasurer of American Eagle Outfitters and has strong ties to South Florida. Her career spans 20 years of progressively senior finance positions with such companies as Burdines, Castle and Cooke, Levitz and Ames Department Stores. She is a member of the Financial Executives Institute and serves as a board member for the National Association of Corporate Treasurers.

In her new role at Burger King, she will manage the following functions: Consolidation, External Reporting, Cash Management, Tax, and financial support functions including the payroll and accounts payable groups. She will also oversee all finance functions for the company-owned restaurants in Canada.

As a result of these structural changes, Maureen Bellantoni, senior VP, finance, has chosen to leave the company. "Maureen has provided valued leadership and insight to the company and we wish her much continued success," Nussbaum said.

Jay Samuels, senior director, worldwide planning and reporting, who previously reported to Bellantoni, will report directly to Nussbaum. Shira Benyunes, manager, strategic planning, will also report to Nussbaum. Frank Taylor, director, Credit & Collections, will report to Albert Couto, senior director of operations finance.