Steve Farrar, who had been named Wendy's chief of North American operations in April 2008, and chief operating officer for the company shortly thereafter, has announced his retirement effective April 20.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, John Peters, senior vice president of North American operations, will assume Farrar's duties, which include supervision of operations for restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Farrar, 62, joined the company in 1980 and during his tenure held positions in both company and franchise operations. In addition, he served in International operations as Vice President of the Pacific International Region.

He retired in 2006 as senior vice president of the West Region, and returned in 2008 as chief of North American Operations. Farrar also served on the board of Pasta Pomodoro, a mid-scale restaurant chain in which Wendy's was part owner.

Farrar was instrumental in establishing the company's Service Excellence program, and helped pioneer the Super Value Menu and Late Night program. He was inducted into the company's Hall of Fame in 1999.

Wendy's launches ads against 'pink slime'

With the recent news barrage focusing on "pink slime" discovered in some QSR beef offerings, Wendy's wanted its customers to know it has never added the ingredient to its burgers, and even launched an advertising campaign to inform them.

The substance, known as "pink slime" because of its appearance, is actually boneless lean beef trimmings treated with ammonia hydroxide to kill pathogens and used as beef filler in some products.

Last week, Wendy's ran full-page ads in eight major newspapers, including the New York Times, USA Today and Los Angeles Times, reassuring customers it has never used pink slime and never will.

The ad read, in part: "We're extremely proud of Wendy's beef standards – 100% pure beef from North American raised cattle ... no additives... no fillers... no preservatives... no flavor boosters," said Emil Brolick, Wendy's president and CEO. "We've never used what some are calling 'pink slime', because it doesn't meet our high quality standards.

"Our beef is fresh, never frozen, and delivered throughout the week to every restaurant. We think this is why our hamburgers taste better and are juicier. It costs us more to serve fresh, pure beef, but we're not willing to compromise our quality standards," he added.

According to the Washington Post, Wendy's felt compelled to run the ad campaign in response to numerous inquiries from customers asking about the filler. Bob Bertini, Wendy's spokesman, said the company wanted to set the record straight.

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