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Lopez to leave Del Taco

Lopez to leave Del Taco

LAKE FOREST Calif. Shirlene Lopez said she would step down as president and chief operating officer of Del Taco by Nov. 17, which is her 30th anniversary with the quick-service chain.

Nick Shepherd, chairman and chief executive of Del Taco's parent, Sagittarius Brands, will assume Lopez’ duties. Company officials said there were no immediate plans to find a replacement for the role of president. Lopez said she would continue to serve Del Taco in a consulting capacity.

Lopez did not specify her plans for after she leaves Del Taco. A statement from the company said she thought that it was time "to begin exploring the next chapter in her life."

“Clearly I have mixed emotions about this decision,” Lopez said. “I am excited at the prospect of having the time to explore new interests and opportunities, but at the same time, I am leaving many great colleagues and friends within the Del Taco family.”

Lopez began working for Del Taco by mopping floors at age 14. By age 18, she was a restaurant manager, and by age 20, she was a training manager.

Lopez continued to climb the ranks and in 2006 was named president following the acquisition of Del Taco by Nashville, Tenn.-based Sagittarius Brands, which also owns the Captain D’s Seafood brand. Del Taco operates or franchises more than 510 units.

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