Home Restaurant El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. Appoints Liz Williams as Chief Executive Officer...

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. Appoints Liz Williams as Chief Executive Officer and Director

Liz Williams

Chief Operating Officer Maria Hollandsworth Named President

El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Elizabeth (“Liz”) Williams as the Company’s new Chief Executive Officer and as a member of its Board of Directors, effective March 11, 2024. Ms. Williams will succeed Maria Hollandsworth, who has served as the Company’s interim Chief Executive Officer since November 3, 2023. Ms. Hollandsworth has been appointed as President of El Pollo Loco and will also continue to serve as the Company’s Chief Operating Officer.

Ms. Williams, age 47, brings to El Pollo Loco significant experience leading high-growth, multi-unit retail, restaurant and service businesses. Most recently, Ms. Williams served as the Chief Executive Officer of Outfox Hospitality, parent company of Foxtrot, a high-growth modern café and convenience store, and Dom’s Kitchen and Market. Prior to Foxtrot, she led innovative brands like Drybar and Hart House.

Ms. Williams has extensive restaurant experience working closely with franchise partners to accelerate growth. She spent ten years with Yum! Brands and Taco Bell between 2010 and 2020, holding various leadership positions including Chief Financial Officer and President of Taco Bell International. During her tenure, she was responsible for the brand strategy, growth, and performance of the international business across 30 countries, and drove notable operational improvements along with sales and profit growth.

“We are excited to welcome Liz Williams as our new Chief Executive Officer,” said William Floyd, Chairman of the El Pollo Loco Board. “Throughout her career, Liz has demonstrated her ability to accelerate growth in food and beverage brands while simultaneously improving financial performance. We believe she has the skills and experience necessary to lead El Pollo Loco as we capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of us.”

Floyd continued, “We would also like to express our deep appreciation to Maria for her leadership as Interim Chief Executive Officer over the past three months. We are excited to benefit from her continued leadership as she helps craft and execute on our strategic vision as President and Chief Operating Officer of El Pollo Loco.”

Ms. Williams commented, “I am truly honored to join El Pollo Loco and be named Chief Executive Officer of this one-of-a-kind brand. El Pollo Loco’s fire-grilled chicken and high-quality, fresh ingredients create a better-for-you brand that is unparalleled in the restaurant industry. I believe that the opportunities to accelerate the growth of our brand are substantial. While the Company was born in Mexico over 40 years ago and has become an iconic West Coast brand, I believe we are just getting started. I look forward to working with the Company’s exceptional management team, our team members, suppliers, and franchise partners as we execute on our strategic vision and write the next chapter for El Pollo Loco.”

Liz Williams, 47, was the Chief Executive Officer of Outfox Hospitality, parent company of Foxtrot, a high-growth modern café and convenience store, from April 2023 to February 2024, and its President and Chief Financial Officer from June 2022 to April 2023. In December 2023 she led the merger with Dom’s Kitchen and Market to form Outfox Hospitality. Prior to Foxtrot, she served as the Chief Executive Officer of Hart House, LLC, a vegan quick serve restaurant chain, from July 2021 to June 2022. Ms. Williams was the Chief Executive Officer of Drybar Holdings, LLC, an owner of hair salons providing blowouts and hair styling products and accessories, from June 2020 to 2021. From January 2018 to January 2020, she was President of Taco Bell International, part of YUM! Brands Inc., a leading operator of quick service restaurants. Prior to this role, Ms. Williams served as Chief Financial Officer of Taco Bell Corp. from October 2013 to January 2018 and Vice President, Financial Planning & Analysis from 2011 to 2013. Ms. Williams spent six years at Boston Consulting Group in the Consumer and Retail practice. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and an MBA from Northwestern Kellogg School of Management. Ms. Williams currently serves on the boards of Stitch Fix (Nasdaq: SFIX), the leading online personalized styling service for men, women and kids, and Viant (Nasdaq: DSP), an advertising software provider.

El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO) is the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain renowned for its masterfully citrus-marinated, fire-grilled chicken and handcrafted entrees using fresh ingredients inspired by Mexican recipes. With more than 490 company-owned and franchised restaurants in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Utah, and Louisiana, El Pollo Loco is expanding its presence in key markets through a combination of company and existing and new franchisee development. Visit us on our website at ElPolloLoco.com.


Source link