Rita’s Franchise Co., parent to the 600-unit Rita’s Italian Ice brand, named two new top-level executives on Tuesday.

The company hired industry veteran Jeff Moody as chief executive officer, succeeding Jonathan Fornaci, who left the Trevose, Pa.-based company several months ago. Moody also was named a director of the company.

Rita’s also named John Dombroski senior vice president and chief financial officer, succeeding Robert Guthmann.

Both Fornaci and Guthmann left Rita’s amid changes at New York City-based investment firm Falconhead Capital LLC, which bought Rita’s in 2011, the company said.

Moody has served in various industry executive roles, from chief executive of Subway’s franchise advertising trust to chief executive of Metromedia Restaurant Group, parent to the Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza chains. He has been president of KFC’s U.S. division and a division vice president at Pizza Hut.

“[Moody’s] experience with growing quick-service brands is vital to our vision of expansion,” Mike Lorelli, who was named executive chairman and interim CEO in July, said in a statement. “Jeff has a long and successful track record of working with franchisees and building brands of leading restaurant companies.”

Dombroski most recently served as CFO at Sancoa International Co. LP, a label-printing company in the Philadelphia area. He previously held senior finance positions with Hasbro and Campbell Soup.  

Rita’s Franchise Co., founded in 1984, has units in 20 states. The company will open its first unit in Utah this week.

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
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