Most people have a “What have I gotten myself into?” moment at some point during their lifetimes. For Andrew F. Puzder, odds are that moment came shortly after the former trial lawyer was appointed as president of Hardee’s in 2000, and it was magnified just three months later when he annexed the president and chief executive posts at parent CKE Restaurants Inc., which also housed the 1,000-plus-unit Carl’s Jr. brand. The company’s stock, which at one time ...

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