John Morberg has been named chief executive of Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., parent to the Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes chain, the company announced Wednesday.

Morberg has served as the interim CEO since May after the departure of David Goronkin, who left Garden Fresh to become chief executive of My Fit Holdings LLC, based in Austin, Texas.

Prior to the interim appointment, Morberg has served as Garden Fresh’s chief financial officer and general counsel since January 2007.

Before joining Garden Fresh, Morberg was vice president of finance, chief financial officer and treasurer of Directed Electronics Inc. Previously, he was vice president and controller of PETCO Animal Supplies Inc., according to his biography posted on Garden Fresh’s website.

“Over the past couple of months, John has demonstrated outstanding leadership as the interim CEO and has been working on improving the guest experience in the restaurants,” said Bud Terry, a member of Garden Fresh’s board of directors, in a statement. “After completing a thorough search, we are confident John is the right leader to take Garden Fresh to the next level.”

Based in San Diego, Garden Fresh operates 128 restaurants in 15 states under two brand names. The soup-salad-buffet concept operates as Souplantation in Southern California and as Sweet Tomatoes elsewhere.

Garden Fresh has been owned by Boca Raton, Fla.-based private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc. since October 2005.

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