Yogurtland has promoted chief operating officer Huntley Castner to chief executive, replacing the frozen yogurt chain’s founder, Phillip Chang, who will become chairman, the company said Friday.

Castner joined 263-unit Yogurtland in 2011 as COO, guiding the franchised chain through a period of significant expansion, with unit counts increasing by more than 160 percent. He served previously as vice president of strategy and finance for Panda Restaurant Group Inc., the Rosemead, Calif.-based parent to the Panda Express chain.

Chang, after turning 50 recently, said he plans to devote more time on Christian mission activities, including bringing clean water and education to poor communities in South America and Southeast Asia.

“I’ve come to the realization and decision that it is time to transition my life’s work toward serving and helping others across the world,” Chang said in a statement. “Of course, I will still be involved in setting strategy, vision and culture of Yogurtland too.”

Chang founded the chain in 2006, pioneering the self-service format.

Based in Irvine, Calif., Yogurtland operates across the U.S., as well as in Australia, Guam, Mexico and Venezuela. The company said it plans to open roughly 75 locations over the next 12 months.

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