Irvine-based Pokeworks has promoted Chief Financial Officer Regina Cheung to Chief Executive.
Cheung, who will continue as CFO for the time being, started with the poke bowl restaurant chain in 2021 and is said to have “modernized Pokeworks’ infrastructure.” In her new role, she will also focus on growing the chain’s franchise network and entering new markets.
“I’m also passionate about our entrepreneurial spirit; we are professional, but we’re also scrappy and growing everyday,” Cheung said in a statement.
Cheung replaces former CEO Steve Heeley, who had held the role since 2021. She will be Pokeworks’ first female and Asian-American CEO.
The chain’s co-founders said they will also be returning as consultants for Cheung and the leadership team.
Pokeworks, founded in 2015, is set to open its first several restaurants outside the U.S. in Toronto by the end of this year. It ranked No. 25 on the Business Journal’s list of OC-based restaurant companies with $56 million in systemwide sales for 2022.