Monday, January 07, 2019

Stitt hires Sonic exec as State's COO, Agency Accountability Secretary


Oklahoma City, Okla. (Jan. 7, 2019) – Governor-elect Kevin Stitt announced today the hiring of John Budd as Chief Operating Officer (COO), a new role in the governor’s office that Stitt campaigned on as a position tasked with diagnosing and helping state agencies deliver efficient, customer-focused services. Stitt will also appoint Budd as the Secretary of Agency Accountability, a cabinet title that will require Senate confirmation.

“In my conversation with governors from across the nation, I heard many credit their success to the hiring of a Chief Operating Officer in their administrations, a model not currently implemented in Oklahoma. This new COO role will be key to fulfilling my campaign commitment of delivering efficient, customer-centered government throughout our 120 agencies,” said Stitt. “I am excited to welcome John Budd, a businessman who has a proven record in helping companies successfully pursue operational transformation and deliver better services. Budd will be tasked with taking a holistic look at ways to more efficiently and effectively implement services and meet today’s modern demands on state government. I appreciate his willingness to join us in serving Oklahoma as we work to build a Top Ten future.” 

John Budd was most recently the executive vice president, chief strategy and business development officer for the Oklahoma City-based national headquarters of Sonic, America’s Drive-In®. He was responsible for Sonic’s strategic near-term and long-term technology path and was a driving force behind the development of enterprise wide strategy, the franchise development function (sales, real estate and construction), supply chain, enterprise program management, and the implementation of key technology initiatives and technology support.

Budd joined Sonic in 2013 after 16 years with the Boston Consulting Group, where he served as a partner and managing director. In that role, he worked with leading companies in the energy, industrial goods, consumer goods, retail, restaurant, and education sectors to help them grow, become more efficient, and provide better customer service. Prior to his work with Boston Consulting Group, he held various domestic and international roles of increasing accountability with General Electric.

Budd earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also received his M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves on the Board for the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation and is the incoming Chair of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals. Budd and his wife Rebecca live in Oklahoma City with their sons Jackie and Marcus.

The following are quotes of support for the hiring of John Budd:

“We are fortunate to have John’s talent in our state. John’s extensive business experience with Sonic and Boston Consulting Group driving strategic vision and change, and his understanding of the elements of long-term sustainable progress will be valuable in moving Oklahoma forward.”
– Kathy Taylor, former Sonic board member and former Tulsa mayor

“Our new governor and his administration are fortunate to have John Budd join their team.  I have known John for roughly a decade and have enjoyed my association with him during his time with the Boston Consulting Group and, for the last five years, as a senior officer of Sonic. 

“John Budd is a very bright, very hard-working and committed professional who is able to constructively question the status quo and develop alternative paths for more effective delivery of services.  He does this in the most functional and collaborative manner.  Many companies throughout our country, including Sonic, have benefited from his skills. As a matter of fact, he had a very significant and positive impact on our company!

“John’s willingness to move to the public sector to apply his exceptional skills is a testament to his having the heart of a servant leader and will be to the benefit of this administration and our state, generally. I look forward to observing and appreciating his impact in this new arena and expect it to be considerable!”
– Cliff Hudson, former CEO of Sonic

“Governor-elect Stitt has made a great choice in appointing John Budd as chief operating officer. Working side by side with John for the past five years, I saw and experienced his strategic thinking and ability to build processes to streamline business practices. As former director of finance for the state, I wholeheartedly believe John’s knowledge and skills will benefit state government and our citizens.”
– Claudia San Pedro, President of SONIC

“John will be a great asset to Governor Stitt’s administration. He brings the right balance of big picture strategy and real-life business acumen to the table. John has served on the Memorial’s Finance Committee and our Board of Trustees for several years and he provides great oversight and strategy. Our state will now benefit from his caliber of experience and expertise, which will in the long run will help prioritize our efficiency of state government.”
– Kari Watkins, Executive Director of the OKC National Memorial & Museum


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