Mike Nettles


Mike has spent almost 30 years of his professional career becoming a self-ascribed “gearhead foodie.”  He is passionate about the restaurant business, recognizing it as highly complex, but deceptively simple, hybrid business model that requires balancing the aspects of operational excellence, discrete manufacturing principles and a constant need to delight the guest one plate and experience at a time. His background includes work for several multi-concept global restaurant hospitality brands.  He has delivered technology and business solutions for some of the biggest and most respected names in the industry.  Mike’s technical expertise extends to encompass the entire technology solution set enabling the business, from the design and implementation of store level order management and fulfillment solutions to the accounting and home office ERP solutions.  Furthermore, Mike has taken the entire customer experience journey outside of the confines of traditional technology to bring about world-class consumer facing solutions, redefining the industry standards for what successful digital transformation looks like for both the customer and the business. 


Before joining Papa John’s International as their SVP, Chief Information and Digital Officer, Mike was the VP of Architecture and IT Strategy for Panera Bread Company, responsible for the entire design and development of the industry-defining “Panera 2.0” transformative digital effort.  Prior to joining Panera, Mike was the Co-Founder for Savista (formerly eMac Digital), the provider of global store solutions to McDonald’s Corporation as well as provider of complete outsourced accounting and payroll services to more than 5000 restaurants in the USA. Mike has also led the overall technology strategy and design of many solutions for brands such as Brinker International, McDonald’s, Subway, Starbuck’s, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut and many others, with many of these solutions still in full deployment well after their initial deployment decades ago, a strong testament to his passion for excellence, durability and resiliency of design standards.


Mike considers himself a raving fan of the works of Peter Senge, Eli Goldratt and Clay Christensen and spends hours with his team and colleagues each week reinforcing the principles of systems thinking, constraint theory and innovative disruption.  He practices lateral thinking and believes strongly that innovation is a skill, not an art, and therefore something that can and should be taught at all levels of the business. 


Despite his business success, Mike considers his roles as a father and husband to be his most valued contributions.  Married originally to his high school sweetheart, becoming a widower after 27 years of marriage, finding new meaning as a grief coach to his bereaved children, regaining joy and happiness in a second chance at love and marriage and doubling his family size in the merge that ensued are worth more than anything he sees on his resume.  An avid outdoorsman, Mike enjoys hiking and camping with his family and pursues as many opportunities to do so as possible, including active leadership in Boy Scouts with his son.  Mike, his wife Tracey and young son Jacob all currently reside in Prospect KY.

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