ATLANTA Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits parent AFC Enterprises Inc. said it has named KFC veteran Ralph Bower chief operations officer and appointed Richard Lynch chief marketing officer.
Bower replaces James W. Lyons, who resigned in December to “to pursue another business opportunity.” Bower has served in various roles at KFC and its parent company, Yum! Brands Inc. Most recently, he was a KFC operations leader with responsibility for 900 franchised restaurants in the Western United States. Before his tenure at KFC, Bower worked at Western Ohio Pizza, a franchisee of Domino's Pizza, and was a regional supervisor with the second largest Domino's franchise organization, Team Washington.
Bower is the latest KFC veteran to join the ranks at Popeyes' parent company. John M. Cranor, a former president and CEO of KFC, replaced AFC founder and chairman Frank J. Belatti, who retired in December. Another former KFC president, Cheryl A. Bachelder, was appointed president of AFC in October.
Lynch, who has been serving as interim chief marketing officer for the past several months, is a veteran in brand consulting, AFC said. Before he started working with AFC, he owned his own consultancy, GO LLC, which has developed brand strategy for such chains as Burger King, Ruby Tuesday and Buffalo Wild Wings. Lynch's background also includes a long tenure with two large advertising companies.
Lynch assumes the CMO post on March 1. Bower's appointment is effective immediately, AFC said.
"Dick and Ralph are ideally suited to help accelerate the performance of Popeyes," said AFC president Bachelder. "Both are highly regarded leaders in their area of expertise and bring an impressive record of accomplishment to our leadership team."
AFC, based here, operates or franchises 1,881 Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits restaurants worldwide.