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California Pizza Kitchen names Jim Hyatt CEO

California Pizza Kitchen names Jim Hyatt CEO

Former Ruby Tuesday chief executive replaces retiring G.J. Hart

California Pizza Kitchen has named Jim Hyatt CEO effective immediately, following the recent retirement of CEO G.J. Hart, the company said Monday.

Hyatt was most recently CEO of Ruby Tuesday. He has also been CEO of Church’s Chicken and Così Inc., and global chief operating officer of Burger King.

“Jim is a world-class restaurant executive and team leader with a long track record of success in the industry and a passion for operational experience,” said Josh Olshansky, a managing director of CPK’s majority shareholder, Golden Gate Capital, in a release announcing Hyatt’s appointment.

He also praised the outgoing CEO.

“G.J. led the revitalization of CPK’s brand and culture, and we are confident that Jim is the ideal person to take the reins as CPK embarks on its next stage of growth,” Olshansky said. “We are deeply grateful for G.J. for his leadership and contributions, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Hart expressed confidence in Hyatt’s leadership.

“It has been an amazing journey at CPK over the past six years,” Hart said. “Together, we have reinvigorated a timeless brand centered on California creativity, a passion for excellence and a people-first philosophy. I could not be prouder of all that CPK has accomplished, and I am confident that, in Jim, we have identified a leader with the drive, skills, and track record to build on that legacy, who also aligns with the values that CPK’s brand represents.”

Los Angeles-based California Pizza Kitchen has nearly 300 casual-dining restaurants in 13 countries.

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected] 

Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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