Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. on Monday named Chief Financial Officer Mark Hutchens as its chief operating officer.
The Vancouver, Wash.-based take-and-bake pizza chain said Hutchens would continue in his CFO role until a replacement is named. Chief operating officer is a new position for the company.
“Mark has been an integral leader in his time at Papa Murphy’s, demonstrating both financial and operational acumen and a strong affinity for the franchise business model,” Papa Murphy’s CEO Weldon Spangler said in a statement.
Spangler said that Hutchens has had “a meaningful impact” on the company’s long-term strategy and has driven several initiatives over the past year that have “positioned the company for continued profitability and growth.”
Hutchens takes over operations responsibilities for a company that has struggled with persistently weak same-store sales over the past two years, including a 4.3 percent decline in the quarter ended July 3.
The company has overhauled management, naming Spangler the chain’s CEO in Junes as its stock price has hovered around $5 per share for much of the past 18 months.
Papa Murphy’s has cut staff to improve profits and is planning to refranchise company stores in a bid to bolster its business. The company is also working on delivery.
Hutchens has been the CFO since January 2014. He has previously been with Bloomin’ Brands Inc., as well as Office Depot and Yum! Brands Inc.
“We’ve taken aggressive steps in the last several months to reduce costs while also ensuring that the right resources are focused on the support of our owner-operators,” Hutchens said in a statement. “Franchisee profitability is foundational to our success and will continue to be a top priority in my new role.”
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