Carrols Restaurant Group Inc., the large Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen franchisee, has named Paulo Pena as CEO to succeed Daniel Accordino, the company announced Tuesday.
Syracuse, N.Y.-based Carrols, which operates 1,028 Burger Kings in 23 states and 65 Popeyes units in seven states, said Pena, left, would assume the CEO position on April 1. Accordino, 71, a 50-year veteran of Carrols, will retire from his roles as CEO, president and chairman and remain available to assist in the transition, the company said.
David S. Harris, a member of the Carrols Board since 2012 and its lead independent director, will assume the role of non-executive chairman on April 1.
“We are confident that we have identified an exemplary individual with the skills and experience necessary to be a strong and effective leader of Carrols,” Harris said in a statement.
Pena, 49, has more than 20 years of operations and finance experience in the hospitality, quick-service restaurant and beverage industries. Pena currently serves as chief operating officer of Selina, where he is responsible for overall hotel operations for the company’s portfolio of more than 95 properties.
Prior to Selina, Pena served as a vice president at McDonald’s USA, where he oversaw operations at more than 800 McDonald’s-owned locations in the United States.
Prior to McDonald’s, Pena served as president and managing director for the Latin America and Caribbean region at the Wyndham Hotel Group, where he was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of over 200 franchised and managed hotels in 20 countries across 14 brands. He also worked 10 years at Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
Harris thanked Accordino, whose retirement was announced in September, for his five decades of service to Carrols.
“Dan’s extensive contributions to the company have helped transform Carrols from a regional quick-service restaurant chain into one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the United States,” Harris said. “Dan has left an indelible mark on Carrols from which we will continue to benefit for many years to come.”
Accordino added that it had been a privilege to work at Carrols for his career.
“I am confident in the future of Carrols, which is well positioned under the next generation of leadership,” Accordino said. “Over the coming weeks, I intend to work closely with Paulo to help ensure a smooth transition.”
Carrols has operated Burger King restaurants since 1976 and Popeyes units since 2019. Both brands are franchised by Toronto-based Restaurant Brands International Inc.
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