H. Melville Hope III, the chief financial officer and senior vice president of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc., is stepping down on May 23 to pursue other opportunities.

Officials said the Atlanta-based company has launched a search for Hope’s successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates, though an interim CFO will likely be appointed. Hope will remain a consultant through the summer to assist with the transition.

“On behalf of everyone at Popeyes, I want to thank Mel for his many contributions over the last 11 years,” Popeyes’ chief executive, Cheryl Bachelder, said in a statement. “Mel has played an important leadership roll in the transformation of the company’s performance. He has built a capable finance organization and has orchestrated transactions that have created significant value for our shareholders.

“Mel is leaving the company in a good position for the future,” she added. “We wish him well.”

Popeyes, which had 2,225 units in the U.S., three territories and 28 foreign countries at the end of 2013, reported that its net income rose more than 12 percent last year, to $34.1 million, and revenue rose 15 percent, to $206 million.

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