Equity Bank Series – Bud Gates: Entrepreneur, CEO, Executive, & Franchisee

Bud Gates has served as Chairman and CEO of Easygates, LLC, from March 2007 to present. In addition, he serves as President and CEO of Gates Enterprises, Inc., 1985 to present.

Gates was owner and operator of Rent-A-Center and ColorTyme franchises from 1996 to 2006 and Pizza Hut franchises from 1985 to 2007. The company owned and operated Heroes Sports Bar and Grill in Wichita, Kansas from 1991 to present, and has owned and operated various other businesses in the past.

Mr. Gates served as Deputy Chief Executive of THORN Group, THORN EMI’s worldwide organization of rental companies which employed 20,000 people in 20 countries and he was a member of the THORN Executive Committee.

As Chairman and CEO of THORN Americas, Inc., 1992 to 1996, he was responsible for rental operations of THORN EMI plc in the Americas (including Rent-A-Center) and the Asia-Pacific region. He held the title of President of Rent-A-Center, Inc. in 1986 and added the title of CEO upon THORN EMI plc acquiring Rent-A-Center in 1987.

From 1979 to 1985, Mr. Gates was an executive of Pizza Hut, Inc., a Division of PepsiCo, Inc. He held various marketing roles within Pizza Hut, culminating in the role of Senior Vice President of Marketing.

Mr. Gates began his career with PepsiCo in its Wilson Sporting Good division in Chicago, IL in the Team Sports Group ultimately heading up the company’s athletic footwear business.

Mr. Gates received a B.S. cum laude with a major in mathematics and a minor in physics from the State University of New York (Albany). He received a Master of Education from Boston University and an MBA from Harvard University.

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