Pokeworks has named its CFO Regina Cheung as CEO. She will retain the role of CFO, where she has created a data-driven culture, built relationships with franchisees and modernized the company’s systems and infrastructure.
As CEO, she will expand her focus to increasing franchisee profitability, introduce the brand to new markets and leverage the company’s team and board to build a scalable business.
“I like to think of myself as a servant-leader to the team and our franchise owners. I want the whole team to feel a positive energy when they come to work and I think that is important for upholding Pokeworks’ core values and culture, which will ultimately lead to accelerated growth and innovation,” Cheung said in a statement. “In addition, I’m a loyal customer, and my entire family – including my 9-year-old daughter – absolutely loves the food and can't get enough. I’m also passionate about our entrepreneurial spirit; we are professional, but we’re also scrappy and growing every day.”
According to the company, Cheung is the company’s first female and Asian American CEO. Her appointment comes as Pokeworks targets international expansion, including several new locations set to open in Toronto by the end of this year.
“Poke plays a large role in Asian food culture,” Co-Founder Mike Chen said in a statement. “Having a leader who shares a part of her DNA will help us maintain our authenticity. We expect big things from Regina in her new role and can’t wait to see where she leads us in the months and years ahead.”
Cheung replaces Steve Heeley, who was appointed CEO in August 2021.
Pokeworks grew its unit count by over 10% from 2021 to 2022, according to Datassential, while sales jumped by 31% during the same timeframe.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]