COSTA MESA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California Pizza Kitchen (CPK), the creator of California-style pizza, today announced that current Board Member Jeff Warne will be assuming the role as the brand’s new CEO, effective immediately. Warne, who joined CPK’s board in November 2020, brings more than 23 years of C-Suite experience in the restaurant industry to his new role as CEO. Warne will be replacing Jim Hyatt, CPK’s former CEO and President since 2018.
“We are thrilled to have Jeff in the CEO role at this incredible brand,” said Michael O’Donnell, California Pizza Kitchen Board of Directors Chairman. “He is a proven leader with deep restaurant experience who understands the CPK business and its innovation DNA. He is uniquely positioned to take CPK to its next phase of growth and has already had a huge impact on the organization. We look forward to supporting him as he continues to bring to life his vision.”
Warne has a wealth of experience and specialized knowledge of the hospitality category. He previously served as President and CEO of Perkins, Marie Callender’s LLC, and O’Charley’s Inc., in addition to holding positions as President of Pick Up Stix, COO of TGI Friday’s International, and CFO of Carlson Restaurants Worldwide. Warne also sits on the board of directors of The Nashville Food Project and formerly served on the board of the Second Harvest Food Bank in Tennessee. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, a bachelor's degree from St. Cloud State University and is a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and Chartered Financial Analyst.
On the heels of a successful year of steady growth, California Pizza Kitchen has maintained strong pre-pandemic performance levels, assisted by returns in the company’s investments in its loyalty program – CPK Rewards, digital guest experience upgrades, menu innovation, and an expanded franchising program highlighted by recent restaurant openings in Canada, India, Chile, and Costa Rica.
About California Pizza Kitchen
In 1985, California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) opened its first restaurant in Beverly Hills and introduced diners to gourmet California-inspired pizza. With a passion for combining fresh, seasonal ingredients with flavor inspirations from around the world, today CPK is a global brand serving creative California cuisine in more than 180 restaurants across 10 countries and U.S. territories. From its innovative, hearth-baked pizzas such as The Original BBQ Chicken, Thai Chicken, and California Club, to inventive salads, and unique pasta dishes that combine the old world with the new, CPK does everything with an imaginative California-inspired twist that guests love.
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