FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, today announced that Jason Marker has been selected as the company’s new chief executive officer. Most recently president of Kentucky Fried Chicken® U.S. (“KFC”), Marker has extensive domestic and international QSR experience and a proven track record of revenue and profit growth, innovation, and brand positioning. He brings with him experience from a variety of senior leadership roles at KFC U.S., KFC International and Unilever. Marker is expected to start as CEO in April.
“Jason has tremendous experience in franchising, in the QSR sector, and in positioning and growing iconic brands,” said Andy Puzder, 66, who has served as CKE’s CEO since 2000. “I expressed my desire to have CKE plan for succession approximately a year ago, and I could not be more pleased to have Jason Marker selected to be the company’s next leader,” Puzder stated. “He is an outstanding executive who will continue to build the Hardees and Carl’s Jr. brands both internationally and domestically.”
As president of KFC U.S., Marker was responsible for the overall strategy and performance of a business with more than $4.2 billion in system sales, 4,200 restaurants, and 450 franchisees. Marker launched a new advertising campaign in 2015, invested in operations, and partnered with the franchise community to drive profitable growth. His efforts led KFC U.S. to three consecutive years of same-store sales and transaction growth and doubling operating margins.
Marker added, “I am honored to have been selected as CKE’s next CEO. It is a privilege to lead an organization that has pioneered the quick service restaurant space for more than 75 years. I would like to thank Andy and his team for the amazing progress they’ve made with Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s over the past 16 years. As CEO, I will do my best to serve our customers, employees and franchisees, continuing the company’s strong history of innovation, quality and value.”
Prior to becoming president in 2013, Marker served KFC and Yum! Brands International in various marketing leadership roles: General Manager, KFC U.S. (2014-2015), Chief Marketing Officer, KFC U.S. (2011- 2013), VP Global Marketing, KFC Global (2010 – 2011) and Chief Marketing Officer, KFC & Pizza Hut South Pacific (2007 – 2010).
Marker also worked in various brand management leadership roles at Unilever. He holds both a Master and Bachelor of Business/Commerce from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand.
About CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”) is a privately held company headquartered in Franklin, TN. CKE is not a franchisor and conducts substantially all of its restaurant activities and operations through its subsidiaries. Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC own, operate and franchise the Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, Green Burrito® and Red Burrito® concepts. Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s operate as one brand under two names, acknowledging the rich regional heritage of both banners. After opening their first New York and New Jersey restaurants in 2015 and recent international openings in Chile, Cambodia and Kenya, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC now have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 41 foreign countries and U.S. territories. Known for its one-of-a-kind premium menu items such as 100 percent Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders™, as well as an award-winning marketing approach, the Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s brand continues to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. The Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s system is now 94 percent franchised, with international restaurants representing 20 percent of the system. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com.