FRANKLIN, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc. (“CKE”), parent company of Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, announced two additional strategic appointments and a promotion to its growing executive leadership team. The appointments follow announcements of the company’s new Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Operating Officer last month. As part of an effort to redefine the customer experience in the QSR category through quality food, people and innovative technologies that create amazing food experiences, CKE is reinvesting in what made its restaurants famous around the world with the announcements of Joanna Shepard joining the company as Chief People Officer, Stephen Carvelli as Chief Information Officer, and Jim Sullivan’s promotion to Chief Development Officer.
“It’s no secret that the people working in Carl’s, Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants around the globe have powered both brands’ success over the last 50 years – whether they are hand-breading tenders, baking biscuits fresh daily, or running great restaurants,” said Jason Marker, CKE CEO. “The additions of Joanna and Stephen, along with Jim’s promotion, will ensure that our business’s future growth will be powered by what got CKE here in the first place. We are excited that the culture, brand and future of CKE attracted such impressive and diverse talent.”
Shepard brings more than 20 years’ experience from Gilbarco Inc. in Greensboro, N.C. where she led HR for the company’s global functions. Prior to her time with Gilbarco Inc., Shepard’s career has been anchored in the food industry, leading organizational development and multi-faceted HR teams for Pizza Hut and A&W/Long John Silver’s. During her time at Pizza Hut, Shepard worked closely with franchise owners, operators and HR leaders focused on improving talent acquisition and leadership development for restaurant general managers and multi-unit leaders.
“I’m grateful to join such an inspiring leadership team and company that prioritizes its people as much as CKE does,” Shepard said. “I look forward to the opportunity of helping to build a better guest experience through the people that work in and outside of our restaurants.”
Carvelli’s technology leadership experience over the last 20 years includes celebrated innovators of the customer and guest experience through technology. Carvelli previously served as the Chief Technology Officer of Lowe's Companies, Inc., where he led digital transformation, enterprise architecture, operations and development. Before joining Lowe's, Stephen held progressive technology leadership roles in Fortune 500 companies including American Eagle Outfitters, Chico's FAS, OfficeMax, and The Walt Disney Company.
“I’ve seen firsthand over the course of my career that great guest experiences are engineered by people and technology – and not one at the expense of the other,” said Carvelli. “CKE Restaurants became a global phenomenon thanks primarily to its people and quality offerings, so my job will begin with providing our team members and customers with the right tools to reimagine our restaurant experience and continue to deliver our classic American fare in new and innovative ways.”
In addition to these new leadership appointments, Jim Sullivan, a member of the executive leadership team, has been promoted to Chief Development Officer. Sullivan’s promotion is highlighted by his successful leadership of CKE’s domestic restaurant footprint expansion in both core and high growth markets, which has led the entire QSR category in net new unit growth in the segment for the last two years. In his expanded role Jim will continue to spearhead the company’s growth agenda, focusing on domestic real estate development activities for the portfolio.
These two hires and promotion mark the sixth additions to the CKE executive leadership team in less than 90 days, underscoring CKE’s commitment to ensuring the company has the right team in place to redefine its iconic brands, as well as support domestic and international growth. The diverse backgrounds and experiences of this team will help drive forth an enhanced strategy focused on operational excellence, franchisee optimization, employee engagement, menu innovation and customer-centricity.
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 sibling brands with rich heritage and regionally nuanced menus. After 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.
Every day, CKE works hard to champion a menu of handmade American Classics, such as 100% Black Angus Thickburgers®, Made from Scratch™ Biscuits and Hand-Breaded Chicken Tenders. This no-nonsense commitment to always making food the right way, combined with a breakthrough marketing approach helps the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands continue to deliver substantial and consistent growth in the U.S. and overseas. For more information about CKE, please visit www.ckr.com or its brand sites at www.carlsjr.com and www.hardees.com or just head to one of our restaurants and try our craveable classics for yourself.