"Strategic differences" with his private equity overlords have driven Burger King chief executive Brad Blum from his job at the fast-food group -- world number two after McDonald's, with around 11,000 owned or franchised restaurants in sixty countries.

Blum's abrupt departure after just eighteen months in the job is the ninth exit of a BK ceo in the past fifteen years -- a statistic many relate to the group's decline in market share in recent years.

The chain was unloaded as 'non-core' by liquor conglomerate Diageo in 2002, and sold to a triumvirate of money manipulators: Bain Capital, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

BK-watchers say the chain prospered under Blum after he changed ad agencies and introduced new menus, leading in May to the company's biggest rise in US same store sales in over four-and-a-half years.

His going was gracious: "While there remains much work to be done, good progress is being achieved and the team is committed to accelerating this growth," Blum said.

"I have enjoyed my relationship with the company's many employees and franchisees and wish to thank them for their support in building the Burger King brand."

The company hopes to recruit a replacement by August.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff