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CPK's New CEO Is a Veteran of Ruby Tuesday, Burger King

Following the retirement of longtime chief G.J. Hart, CPK has concluded its search for a new CEO.

California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) appointed Jim Hyatt as CEO, effective immediately. Hyatt’s appointment follows the recent retirement of G.J. Hart as CEO of CPK.

A veteran restaurant executive who has successfully led multiple national restaurant brands over the course of his 40-year career, Hyatt most recently served as CEO of publicly-traded Ruby Tuesday (600 restaurants, $1.2 billion in annual sales), where under his initiatives, the chain grew profitability while delivering all-time high guest attribute scores. At the request of the Ruby Tuesday Board, Hyatt led the company through a successful take-private transaction that closed this past December. In 2017, Nation’s Restaurant News named Hyatt one of its top new executives of the year.

Prior to Ruby Tuesday, Hyatt served as CEO of Church’s Chicken (1,600 units in 22 countries, $1.1 billion in system-wide sales) and publicly-traded Così Inc., as well as global COO for Burger King, where he led operations for 13,000 restaurants with $20 billion of system-wide sales in 65 countries. In total, Hyatt spent 32 years in the Burger King system, including 10 years as a multi-unit franchisee.

“This is an incredibly exciting time in CPK’s history. The brand and team are strong, and the business is poised to achieve growth in its global footprint and in high-potential areas, including its off-premise business,” Hyatt says. “My family and I have been loyal CPK guests for years, and when asked to lead the company in its next chapter of success, I knew it was an opportunity I could not miss. I look forward to working with the leadership team as we continue to deliver the exceptional food and hospitality that are the hallmarks of CPK.”


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