CKE Restaurants Inc. has announced the hiring of Jim Sullivan as senior vice president of Domestic Franchise Development and announced that Ned Lyerly has been named executive vice president of International.
The growing importance of franchise development at CKE's Hardee's and Carl's Jr. brands, combined with the fact that fiscal 2012 was the first year the company's international development exceeded domestic development, led the company to split the leadership responsibilities. Each division will focus on domestic and international growth opportunities. In fiscal 2012 there were 113 franchise openings, 72 of which were in international markets.
Sullivan will be responsible for franchise sales and the growth of the domestic franchise system, while Lyerly will run the company's international division.
Sullivan joins the company from Friendly's Ice Cream LLC, where he recently served as senior vice president and chief development officer. While at Friendly's, he was responsible for the company's development, real estate and franchising activities.
"Jim's 15-plus years of experience in franchise development combined with his knowledge of the Northeastern U.S. market will be tremendous assets to the company," said Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE. "At present, the Northeastern region of the United States (eight states in total) is an area in which we have no restaurants and, as such, represents a significant growth opportunity for the company."
Lyerly, who previously served at CKE in the capacity of EVP of Global Franchise Development, will dedicate his efforts to expanding the company's international presence, which has grown to more than 13 percent of the company's systemwide unit count. With a presence in 25 international markets, the company is accelerating franchise growth in Mexico, The Middle East, Russia, China, Asia, Canada, and Central and South America.
"We have positioned the company to support our franchise systems," Puzder said. "With our emphasis on franchise growth, the time was right to split the responsibility for our domestic and international franchise networks among two very capable executives."
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