THE COLONY Texas Tim Taft has resigned as president and chief executive officer of Pizza Inn Inc. to “pursue other interests,” the operator or franchisor of 360 namesake pizzerias said late Wednesday.
Taft’s duties have been assumed on an interim basis by chief financial officer Charlie Morrison, Pizza Inn said in a statement. Morrison is a past president of Metromedia Restaurant Group’s Steak & Ale and Tavern restaurants. He also has worked with Ponderosa, Boston Market, Pizza Hut and Kinko’s.
In the statement issued by Pizza Inn, Taft said: “I am proud of the progress that Pizza Inn has made in the past 2½ years toward our goal of increasing sales, profitability and the revitalization of the franchise system. Pizza Inn is a stronger brand with a bright future.”
Taft, the former president of Whataburger Inc., drew attention when he moved to Pizza Inn for a first-year salary of $1. At the time, Pizza Inn had been beset by an internal struggle between management and investors, who publicly voiced their lack of confidence in the concept’s leadership and direction. Then-CEO Ronnie Parker was fired on the eve of the company’s annual shareholder meeting, with his compensation package cited as the major reason.
The company also had been rocked by the disclosure that Parker’s predecessor and mentor, Jeff Rogers, had borrowed money from the company and not repaid the loan. Rogers repaid the loan after he had left the company.
Taft was brought in amid the turmoil to calm the situation, reassure shaken franchisees and investors, and rebuild the concept.
Pizza Inn’s board said it thanked Taft for “tirelessly working to position Pizza Inn as a vibrant, growing concept and we appreciate his dedication and leadership.”