Leigh Burnside Headshot Image

Leigh A. Burnside

Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer & Chief Financial Officer U.S.

Leigh is Wendy’s Senior Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer U.S.

Under her leadership, Leigh leads Marketing and Digital Finance, Operations Finance, U.S. Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A), Continuous Improvement and T.H.R.I.V.E. and all Accounting and reporting functions, at Wendy’s.

In recognition of her broad scope of work on the U.S. business, Leigh was named Chief Financial Officer U.S. in May 2022. She was promoted to Chief Accounting Officer in 2019. Over the course of her 18 years with Wendy’s, Leigh has held numerous leadership roles across Finance. She previously served as Chief Accounting Officer leading all Accounting and reporting functions. Prior to that she served as Vice President–Finance and Planning and was accountable for the Company’s budgeting and forecasting processes, as well as the finance functional business partnership and analytics team. Prior to that, she served as Vice President–Strategic Financial Analysis. Leigh has also held director-level positions in Financial Reporting, Corporate Accounting and Financial Planning & Analysis.

Leigh has led the creation of a continuous improvement culture within Finance that aligns with the mission of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) organization which is to drive positive change with a sense of urgency. Her collaborative leadership approach has also helped strengthen finance across the Wendy’s system, including the creation of Wendy’s CFO Forum that unites franchisee and company finance leaders to review business initiative economics and benchmark financial results.

Prior to her tenure with the Company, Leigh worked at L Brands, Inc. (formerly known as Limited Brands, Inc.) from 2001 to 2004, where she served as Manager of Internal Audit and Manager of Financial Reporting. Previously, she served as External Reporting Manager for Borden, Inc. from 1999 to 2001. Leigh’s corporate accounting and financial reporting, planning and analysis experience also includes seven years of public accounting with Arthur Andersen LLP and Coopers & Lybrand.

An Ohio native, her fondest memory of Wendy’s is from high school when she and her friends would use their school’s open lunch policy to frequent their local Wendy’s. Today, her lunchtime go-to option is a Dave’s Single combo. Her love of our brand and recognition of the Company as a great place to work are what fuel her daily passion.

Leigh holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is a certified public accountant (inactive). She also serves as a trustee of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.