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Dave Boennighausen named Noodles CEO

Outgoing Del Taco CEO Paul Murphy named executive chairman

Dave Boennighausen (left) was named permanent CEO of Noodles & Co. on Wednesday, and soon-to-be-former Del Taco Restaurants Inc. CEO Paul Murphy was named executive chairman.

The changes continue a management shakeup at the struggling fast-casual chain that began last July when former CEO Kevin Reddy stepped down.

Boennighausen was named interim CEO, and on Wednesday that interim tag was removed. He had been CFO at the company since 2012 and first started at the Broomfield, Colo.-based chain in 2004. 

“Dave is a proven leader who has made numerous contributions to the company during his long tenure,” Andrew Taub, managing partner at L Catterton and a director at Noodles, said in a statement. “His financial and business acumen and vision, as well as his ability to bring people together, have been enormous assets during this period of transition.”

Murphy, meanwhile, recently announced plans to step down at Del Taco, where he had been CEO since 2009 and helped reinvigorate the chain by infusing the traditionally budget-focused concept with higher end premium items.

Murphy resigned effective July 7 to relocate permanently to Denver — where Murphy worked at Einstein Noah Restaurant Group from 1996 through 2009, the last six years as its CEO.

“The addition of Paul Murphy as executive chairman is outstanding for Noodles & Company,” Taub said. “Paul has extensive knowledge of the restaurant industry, and brings with him many years of operational and executive leadership experience, in addition to a strong track record of enacting positive change.”

Murphy called Noodles a “truly differentiated brand” and said that it was “fortuitous” that the opportunity arose just as he and his wife planned to move back to Denver.

Meanwhile, Noodles named Sue Daggett the company’s interim CFO. Daggett had been vice president of finance since August of 2016 and has worked with Smiling Moose Deli and with Einstein Noah. The company said it has started a search for a permanent CFO.

Murphy joins a chain that has struggled for years with sales weakness and financial losses. The company closed 55 locations this year. To pay for the cost associated with the closures, Noodles received a cash infusion from L Catterton, and from the private equity firm Mill Road Capital.

Contact Jonathan Maze at [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @jonathanmaze

Correction: June 15, 2017
This story has been edited to clarify that Noodles & Co. closed 55 locations this year.
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