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Executive Ladder


Brian Niccol, former CEO of Yum’s Taco Bell division, is the new CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, succeeding Steve Ells.

World of Beer hired Kevin MacCormack as chief financial officer and James Buell as vice president of marketing.

El Pollo Loco appointed former Teavana president Bernard Acoca to president and CEO, succeeding Steve Sather.

After announcing a second headquarters in Atlanta, Christian Nahas was named president of Edible Brands.

Faraz Iqbal is the new chief operating officer at Naranga.

Structural Elements Franchising hired Susan King Glosby to its franchise team.

Goalz Restaurant Group, operator of Captain D’s, Church’s Chicken and Dog Haus, appointed Jeron Boemer as vice president of operations in Arizona.

Clay Carson was appointed vice president of franchise sales and real estate development at Another Broken Egg of America.

Donatos appointed Kevin Myers as chief marketing and information officer and Amos Durbin as vice president of franchise operations.

The Glass Guru added three new staff members at its headquarters: Brian Cohen is its new digital marketing director, Amanda Scott is content writer and social media specialist, and Steven Tyler is video and graphic designer.

Chris Becraft was named vice president of national accounts at Fastsigns International.

Farmer Boys Food hired restaurant veteran Tammy Johns to serve as its vice president and chief people officer.

Toni Bianco

Toni Bianco

Fatburger’s new prez seeks to freshen California concept

Fresh off stints with Long John Silver’s and Papa John’s, Toni Bianco has been hired as the new chief operating officer and brand president of Fatburger, a 71-year-old burger chain based in Beverly Hills, California. After being connected to the brand through a recruiter, a one-hour interview ended up stretching for nearly six hours and ended with Bianco’s offer to join the company.

Fatburger is in a different niche than his previous employers, but Bianco said he intends to use a similar playbook as the brand’s executive team looks to aggressively expand its domestic and international unit count in the coming years.

“Building deep franchisee relationships is critical to moving any brand forward, not just Fatburger,” he said. “From a leadership perspective, I’m a big believer in investing in people and I focus heavily on investing in people and building high-performance teams—and that’s what I intend to do here and what I’ve done in my past.”

Bianco said adding a remodeling program will be a key part of the company’s efforts to update the look and feel of its locations. Some units will only need cosmetic upgrades like a fresh coat of paint or parking lot restriping, while others will require more significant upgrades.

In addition, he plans to focus on traveling to the brand’s various markets, meeting with franchisees and spending several weeks inside restaurants to introduce himself and the brand’s priorities to its franchisee network.

Part of his work will include less sexy, back-of-the-house upgrades like enhancing its training program, negotiating “farm to form” supply chain efficiencies and helping franchisees boost their cash flow. He also said he hopes to expand the Buffalo Express wing brand that has exceeded projections.

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