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El_Pollo_Loco_Larry-Roberts-CEO.jpg Photo courtesy of El Pollo Loco
El Pollo Loco's CEO has stepped down

El Pollo Loco CEO Larry Roberts steps down

COO Maria Hollandsworth will serve as interim president and CEO at the restaurant company until a permanent replacement is named.

Laurence “Larry” Roberts is leaving his position as CEO, president, and director of El Pollo Loco, the company announced Thursday. Roberts moved into the leadership role in March 2022 after serving as CFO since 2013. He will serve in an advisory role through the end of December to help with his transition. In a statement, Roberts said being a part of El Pollo Loco has been the highlight of his career.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished together during my time with the company,” he said.

“Larry has been an instrumental part of El Pollo Loco’s history as a public company, from serving as our CFO during our initial public offering in 2014 to leading the company as our CEO for the past two years”, William Floyd, chairman, said in a statement. “On behalf of the board, I want to thank Larry for his leadership and valuable contributions to El Pollo Loco over the past 10 years. It has been a privilege to work with Larry and we wish him the best.”

Maria Hollandsworth, El Pollo Loco’s chief operating officer, will assume the role of interim president and CEO until a new CEO is appointed, and the board has executed a national search for Roberts’ replacement. Hollandsworth has over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry. She joined El Pollo Loco in November 2022 after serving as regional vice president of operations for Inspire Brands’ Dunkin’ brand. Prior, she spent over 20 years at Jack in the Box, most recently serving as vice president of strategic initiatives and operations services, where she successfully executed the creation and implementation of enterprise-wide strategic initiatives across over 2,000 restaurants.

With extensive operational experience across multiple franchised, quick-service brands, we believe Maria is well suited to step into the role of interim president and CEO. During her tenure at the company, Maria has put the customer at the forefront of everything we do while driving significant operational improvements,” Floyd said. “She has been vital in creating our strategic vision and we are excited for her to lead this brand forward.”

El Pollo Loco reported Q3 results Thursday, including a revenue increase to $120.4 million versus $119.9 million in Q3 2022, and a systemwide comparable sales increase of 0.8%.

Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]

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