As Dunkin' Brands Group (DNKN) moves to cut back on its older, lower-volume locations while opening more of its NextGen restaurants, the company also recognizes the growing importance of online and digital sales and marketing. So a new executive, chief digital and strategy officer (CDSO), will begin work on Aug. 10.

Dunkin' has selected Philip Auerbach to be the first to occupy the new executive role. Auerbach is leaving his job as chief commercial officer at adventure travel company Lindblad Expeditions. He has additional experience as a marketing executive at Caesars Entertainment and in sales and marketing at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

A Dunkin' NextGen restaurant.

Image source: Dunkin' Brands

Auerbach says he will help Dunkin "build a digital ecosystem that will deliver an even more personalized, frictionless experience across all channels." CEO Dave Hoffman said, "Phil is a transformational leader who has led the evolution of consumer and hospitality brands and will take our growing digital platform to the next level."

The CDSO will be responsible for integrating digital into various parts of Dunkin's operations in a more intensive and streamlined way. According to the press release, this will include helping with marketing, customer care, loyalty programs, and collecting information on operations to provide consumer and business insights. The company's flexible model has already helped it weather COVID-19 better than some competing restaurant brands.