The Krystal Co., parent to the 360-unit Krystal burger chain, said Wednesday it named former Craftworks and Church’sexecutive Doug Pendergast its new chief executive officer.
The news, along with additional management team changes, follows Krystal’s purchase by private equity firm Argonne Capital Group LLC in late March.
Pendergast succeeds James Fred Exum Jr. and most recently served as chief development and franchising officer at Craftworks Restaurant & Breweries Inc., parent to the Rock Bottom and Old Chicago brands. Prior to that position he was the executive vice president and chief franchise officer at Church’s Chicken.
“I am delighted to be part of a company with both a deep history and strong growth potential,” Pendergast said in a statement. “The leadership team and investors deserve tremendous credit for stabilizing the company and building a sound foundation for expansion.”
In addition, the 80-year-old, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Krystal named Al Ryan its new vice president of operations and Partha Mukherjee its chief information officer. Prior to joining Krystal, Ryan and Mukherjee held positions at Church’s Chicken as that chain’s vice president of international operations and chief information officer, respectively.
“By adding these new players to an already talented management slate, we’re building a team that will lead Krystal along the steep growth trajectory established in recent months,” said Harsha V. Agadi, non-executive chairman of the board at Krystal, and former chief executive at Church’s Chicken. “Our brand and our customers have a great future ahead.”
Atlanta-based private investment firm Argonne Capital acquired Krystal in March for an undisclosed sum. Argonne’s restaurant portfolio includes Applebee’s, IHOP and Stevie B’s Pizza.
At the time of the deal’s announcement, the companies said Krystal’s board will include Michael Klump, founder of Argonne, Karl Jaeger, also from Argonne, as well as Stockton Croft, an advisor to Argonne, and Agadi.
Piper Jaffray & Co. served as exclusive financial advisor to The Krystal Company in the transaction, and King & Spalding LLP served as its legal counsel.
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