Gary Campanaro has been named chief financial officer for Johnny Rockets, the Americana-themed burger chain said Monday.

Campanaro is the former chief financial officer for Costa Mesa, Calif.-based El Pollo Loco. Last week, former KFC executive Larry Roberts was named CFO of the grilled chicken chain, replacing Campanaro.

At Johnny Rockets, Campanaro replaces former CFO David Kreizinger.

Prior to El Pollo Loco, Campanaro was CFO for the casual-dining chain Claim Jumper, and previous experience includes positions with The Keith Companies, CB Richard Ellis and CKE Restaurants Inc. He was also an audit manager for KPMG in Costa Mesa.

In June, the Aliso Viejo, Calif.-based Johnny Rockets chain was acquired by an affiliate of private-equity group Sun Capital Partners Inc.

John Fuller, Johnny Rockets’ chief executive, said in a statement that Campanaro joins the company as it prepares for a time of unprecedented growth. The 300-unit chain has been expanding rapidly overseas, recently opening in Russia, Nigeria and Ecuador. The chain is planning to open soon in Brazil, Costa Rica, Honduras, Malaysia and India.

Campanaro’s “experience working in the restaurant sector and with multiple private equity groups will be very valuable to our owners, our franchisees and our entire corporation,” Fuller said.

“This is a great opportunity to join a company on the tipping point,” Campanaro said in a statement. "I’ve no doubt that Johnny Rockets is primed to increase their expansion, both domestically and overseas, especially with the enthusiasm and resources this new ownership group provides.”

The Johnny Rockets chain includes about 220 locations in the U.S., about 30 of which are company owned and about 85 of which are international units.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
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