Pieology has named Bob Baker president, the first for the rapidly growing fast-casual pizza chain, the company said Wednesday.

Carl Chang, founder and chief executive of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based Pieology, said Baker shared his philosophies on leadership, passion for food and building a community-based brand.

“He has a strong and enduring passion for the restaurant industry, as demonstrated by his 25 years in the business,” Chang said in a statement. “As we continue to expand across the nation, we believe Bob will be instrumental in strategically managing our growth to maintain and advance our uncompromising promise of quality and value to our guests.”


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Baker was previously president and chief financial officer of Salt Lake City-based Café Rio. In his nine-year tenure there, the fast-casual concept grew from six units to more than 70 locations.
 
Prior to that, Baker spent 13 years with Yum! Brands Inc.’s KFC brand. Later, he served as Yum’s senior director of corporate planning and strategy and USA controller.

Pieology was founded in 2011 and was one of the first fast-casual pizza players to open in California, which is now a hotbed for the growing niche. The chain is owned by the family of tennis champion Michael Chang; Carl Chang is his brother.

Pieology is known for its custom 11-and-a-half-inch pizzas, built by guests from more than 30 ingredients and baked in a stone-deck oven in about two minutes. Unlimited toppings are available for the set price of $7.95.

The chain operates and franchises 23 locations in California, Colorado, Texas and Oregon. By the end of the year, Pieology expects to reach 52 units.

Contact Lisa Jennings at lisa.jennings@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout