Currently in the throes of a massive reorganization, America's number three burger chain Wendy's Corporation this week extended the revamp to its marketing department.

The firm announced Wednesday it is merging three marketing groups into a single entity titled the Innovation and Strategy Group.

To be headed by a "senior strategist" - presumably yet to be hired - the new group includes svp-research and development Lori Estrada, vp-strategic insights and innovation Casey Minton, and a new role, svp-operations innovation, filled by Mike Watson.

According to exec vp-chief marketing officer Ian Rowden, the inclusion of the latter (formerly svp-operations administration and strategic planning) in the I&P team is a major shift for the burger barony: "It's the first time we've had someone with Mike's operations background as an integral part of the marketing team."

Wendy's has also merged the brand-management, media and diversity-marketing teams that previously reported to Rowden into a unit led by Bob Holtcamp, vp-brand management. This will "facilitate greater alignment between media, message and creative as the company executes marketing initiatives."

The revamps are part of a greater upheaval in which up to 375 corporate and divisional jobs are up for axing in a bid to cut $100 million in costs by the year end.

The creation of the I&P team is Rowden's brainchild. It is intended to better align operations and advertising.

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff, 28 July 2006