Top 30 Franchise Executives 2024 revealed

Top 30 Franchise Executives 2024 (2)
The top five, from left: Steve Halls, Caitlin Bancroft, Joel Kleber, Kerri Wane and Tim Butters (Source: Octomedia/ONeill Photographics)

Jim’s Group chief marketing officer Joel Kleber has taken out the top slot in the Top 30 Franchise Executives 2024 report.

Franchise Executives revealed the top 30 rankings in a report sponsored by Commonwealth Bank and launched in Sydney.

Each submission in the Top 30 was judged on how individuals have championed innovation, contributed to commercial success and made a positive impact in the broader franchise community.

Top five in the Top 30

Kleber’s winning submission showcased his achievements in helping take the group to a net growth of 7.94 per cent. He spearheaded an initiative to boost digital engagement which resulted in over 50,000 downloads. The Jim’s YouTube channel produced more than 700 videos and attracted 10,000 subscribers.  

Franchise buyer surveys indicated the initiative had impact on multiple franchise sales, with many franchisees citing Jim’s videos as a key influence in their purchase decision. 

Sales growth and profitability

San Churro CEO Kerri Wane ranked second in this year’s list. The chain had an outstanding 2023. It exceeded all KPIs in profitability, sales, franchise partner profitability, customer satisfaction, engagement and operational excellence.

Over the year Wane cast a franchise-partner led focus on the business, introduced new store formats and spearheaded tech initiatives.

In third place, Steve Halls, Poolwerx’ chief operating officer. He oversaw a 9 per cent year-on-year growth in 2023. There were strong increases in Average Transaction Value, service transactions and equipment sales, new revenue streams and six new stores.

Hall’s leadership also led to an increase in average gross profit across all regions.  

Record results and US launch

Caitlin Bancroft, chief marketing officer at Collective Wellness Group, the parent company of Anytime Fitness Australia, took the fourth spot.

Bancroft successfully led a groundbreaking advertising campaign, helped the brand’s annual One Day Sale achieve record results, and contributed to Anytime Fitness achieving its highest market share – 27 per cent. 

City Cave co-founder and director Tim Butters was ranked fifth in the Top 30 this year.

Butters took the brand into the US, opening its first location in March 2023. He sharpened the focus on profitability and implemented a benchmarking tool that provides a snapshot of the financial metrics of each business. He also commissioned an external tech firm to develop and streamline the digital experience for customers.

Top 30 Franchise Executives 2024

The full Top 30 list this year includes individuals in C-suite roles, business development, finance, HR, marketing, product development and operations. 

A selection of franchisors, franchisees and industry experts judge the Top 30 nominations.

This year’s judges were:

  • Marcel Klaassen, general manager, Business Banking Channels, Commonwealth Bank
  • Steve Plarre, CEO, Ferguson Plarre’s Bakehouses
  • Aaron Smith, founder, KX Pilates
  • Kate Hopley, franchise manager, Schnitz
  • Natalie Kington, multi-unit franchisee, Laser Clinics Australia
  • Sarah Stowe, editor, Franchise Executives

Report launched at Sydney event

PCL Lawyers and Gorilla Dash sponsored the report launch event with finalists celebrating their achievements with colleagues, family, and other franchise professionals.

To read who made this year’s list, download the Top 30 Franchise Executives 2024 report here.