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Potbelly names IPO vet as CFO to replace Moreton

CHICAGO An experienced hand at selling private companies to the public has been named chief financial officer of Potbelly Sandwich Works, the 140-unit, privately-owned fast-casual chain based here.

James Hirshorn assumes the CFO’s title from Bill Moreton, the one-time Baja Fresh chief executive who joined Potbelly as president and CFO in April 2005 with considerable fanfare. Moreton’s successor as Potbelly’s president has not been named.

Potbelly said that Moreton is leaving the chain to “attend to a personal family medical issue.” Chairman and CEO Bryant Keil referred to him in a statement as “a high-caliber individual who contributed greatly.”

Hirshorn joins Potbelly from Sealy Inc., the mattress manufacturer, where he served most recently as senior executive vice president of finance, operations and research and development. During his time there, Hirshorn was involved in the sale of the company from one private-equity company, Bain Capital Inc., to another financier, Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts. In April 2006, he assisted in Sealy’s initial public offering.

Potbelly, in its announcement of Hirshorn’s hiring, noted that he’s served four companies that are now public, including Domino’s Pizza.

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