AFC’s COO to fly the coop

ATLANTA In another high-level executive change at AFC Enterprises Inc., James W. Lyons has resigned as chief operating officer “to pursue another business opportunity,” the parent of Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits said Thursday.

Lyons will stay on through the end of the month to help with the transition, the company said in a statement.

Lyons, who has been with the company since 2004, was promoted to the COO post earlier this year.

His resignation closely follows the retirement of AFC founder Frank J. Belatti, who was succeeded as chairman by one-time KFC chief John Cranor, and the appointment of former KFC president Cheryl A. Bachelder as chief executive. Bachelder was also named president of Popeyes.