Brandon at Michigan Stadium, September 2012
|Born||David Allen Brandon 
May 15, 1952
|Residence||Ann Arbor, Michigan|
|Education||University of Michigan|
|Children||Sons: Scott, Nick, Chris,
David Allen "Dave" Brandon (born May 15, 1952) is an American businessman and the former Athletic Director for the University of Michigan, a position he held from 2010 until his resignation on October 31, 2014. He was formerly chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and manager of Domino's Pizza. Brandon took over Domino's in March 1999 when founder Thomas Monaghan sold it to the investment group Bain Capital. Prior to Domino's, he was the CEO of Valassis Communications. He is also a former regent of the University of Michigan and former football player at the University of Michigan.
He graduated with a bachelor's degree and teaching certificate from the University of Michigan in 1974. While in Ann Arbor, he was the back-up quarterback of the university's football team, under the leadership of Bo Schembechler.
On May 9, 2009, David received his honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Albion College during the college's commencement ceremonies, in Albion, Michigan. He also delivered a commencement address to the 2009 graduating class. and finished his address by giving a graduation present to each of the graduates. Taped to the bottom of each of their seats was a coupon for a free pizza and a soda.
Brandon began working for Valassis in 1979 at age 27. Brandon described moving from Procter & Gamble to Valassis, then a small, family-owned coupon company, as a “culture shock.” Over 20 years, Brandon rose in the company’s ranks. He was promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer of Valassis in 1986, then to chief executive officer in 1989.
During his tenure as CEO, Brandon organized Valassis’s initial public offering in 1992 at $11.34 per share. Fortune selected Valassis as one of the 100 best companies to work for in 1997, 1998, and 1999.
Brandon became the chief executive officer of Domino’s Pizza in March 1999 after its founder Thomas Monaghan sold his shares of the pizza chain to Bain Capital in order to start Ave Maria University.
Brandon led Domino’s to its initial public offering in 2004 at $14 per share, raising $337 million. Under Brandon’s direction, Domino’s introduced the first pizza tracker, and added desserts, and sub sandwiches to its menu. To promote the new products, Brandon appeared on a national TV commercial to burn a cease-and-desist letter from Subway. In 2009, Domino’s changed its core pizza recipe in a move that Brandon called the “biggest product introduction we've done since… well, pizza." Over the course of Brandon’s tenure, Bain received a 500% return on its initial investment.
Brandon was elected to the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan in 1998, as a member of the Republican Party. In the November 2006 election, he lost his reelection bid to Democrat Julia Donovan Darlow. His term expired December 31, 2006.
An avid participant in Republican politics, Brandon has donated to several Republican campaigns and conservative causes.
On May 5, 2005, Brandon appeared on the third edition of Donald Trump's The Apprentice as part of the finale CEO interview panel. In an advertisement that first aired on January 21, 2009, David starred by "oven baking" a cease and desist order from Subway. He was seen putting the letter in a pizza oven, and the letter caught on fire. Subway had sent the letter to Domino's to stop advertisements for their new oven baked sandwiches that noted a 2 to 1 advantage over Subway's subs in an independent taste test.
While at Domino's, Brandon kept a blog, titled "Dave's Blog," which was accessible only to Domino's Pizza franchisees and corporate store managers. In his blog he wrote about such topics as his personal unannounced visits to stores and the price of cheese.
Brandon also maintained a blog called “Brandon’s Blog” during his time as athletic director, where he highlighted athletes’ achievements at the University of Michigan.
University of Michigan athletic director
On January 5, 2010, Brandon was named athletic director at the University of Michigan, succeeding Bill Martin. University President Mary Sue Coleman said she chose Brandon because she believed his financial management experience would serve the department well as it grows larger and increasingly complex. Soon after arriving, Brandon established a marketing department, which began investing in resources for athletes and established a student loyalty program. Within a few years, Brandon began returning surpluses in the hundreds of millions of dollars, which he used for a number of major facilities improvements. Brandon is also credited with raising academic standards for athletes and bringing in more counseling and tutoring resources for athletes.
Michigan Athletics, under Brandon’s leadership, raised student season ticket prices amid a slump in student attendance nationally, which drew scrutiny from student government officials after roughly a third fewer students bought season tickets.
On September 30, 2014, amid frustrations over the UM Football Team’s losing record that season, a graduate student posted a petition on the website of the University's Central Student Government asking that Brandon be fired. By midnight of October 1, the petition had grown to over 10,000 signatures. After Brandon revealed that Michigan Quarterback Shane Morris played after exhibiting symptoms of a concussion, hundreds of students gathered at the home of University President Mark Schlissel calling for changes in the leadership of Michigan Athletics. Brandon resigned from the position on October 31, 2014.
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