On November 17, Canadian Business hosted a virtual fireside chat with Paul Goddard, president and CEO of Pizza Pizza, and SJC’s group publisher Jason Maghanoy.

Under Goddard’s leadership, Pizza Pizza has won a Webby Award for its app, along with numerous franchising and marketing awards, including being named one of Canada’s Most Admired Cultures in 2022 and Strategy Magazine’s Brand of the Year in 2023.

With an academic background in IT and engineering, Goddard began his career working at major organizations including Imperial Oil (Esso) and Morgan Stanley in the UK before returning to Canada to take up senior leadership roles in Canada’s energy industry. In 2009, Goddard joined as Chief Information Officer to “help out the family business”–Goddard’s father-in-law, Michael Overs, founded Pizza Pizza in 1967.

Goddard described how his approach to the company’s established “hub and spoke model,” highly effective in the company’s earlier stages, focused on bridging entrenched silos and building relationships across different business units.

“[In any corporate environment], there are a lot of personalities, so you have to find what works for the team you have by listening to them, but ultimately it’s the CEO that has to drive change,” said Goddard. “In my experience, an open, sharing-based, consensus-driven type of model–flat, non-hierarchical–worked very well.”

With the accelerated future of work ushering in a panoply of new office models, Goddard has advanced a hybrid working arrangement with a flexible, trust-based approach based on Pizza Pizza’s PIE –profitability, innovation and engagement–strategy. 

“We have high performance standards–we want you to get the job done, but we’re less concerned with where you get it done,” said Goddard. “You should realize that your creativity, team-building and impact are going to be limited if you’re completely remote, so we are nudging people to show us they can be productive while trusting in their capacity to achieve objectives.”

Goddard describes several areas where Pizza Pizza has prioritized innovation throughout the organization, from marketing to operations, including making their entire back office kitchen system paperless and providing live, last-mile order-tracking, to increase efficiency and profitability while better meeting its commitments to customers, like ‘40 minutes or its free’.

“It comes down to the visibility of our principals and values,” said Goddard. “If we treat our franchisees and employees well, we tell them what we want to achieve and we communicate a clear vision through goal-setting, then we can give them more latitude to innovate with success in different markets across Canada.”

View the complete virtual fireside chat here.

Paul Goddard’s Recipe for Success Has a Dash of Flexibility
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