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El Pollo Loco Board Names New CEO

Elizabeth Williams takes over head role from interim exec, Maria Hollandsworth

El Pollo Loco’s (Nasdaq: LOCO) board of directors have appointed Elizabeth “Liz” Williams as the restaurant chain’s new chief executive, effective March 11.

Williams succeeds interim CEO Maria Hollandsworth, who entered the role last November when previous CEO Laurance Roberts stepped down. Hollandsworth will continue as chief operating officer and has also been appointed president.

El Pollo Loco currently counts nearly 500 restaurants in the U.S.

Williams most previously served as CEO of Outfox Hospitality, parent company of Foxtrot, and before that, oversaw vegan chain Hart House and hair salon owner Drybar for a year, respectively. She also spent 10 years with Yum Brands (NYSE: YUM) and worked at Taco Bell as the international president and chief financial officer.

“Throughout her career, Liz has demonstrated her ability to accelerate growth in food and beverage brands while simultaneously improving financial performance,” the board said in a statement. “We believe she has the skills and experience necessary to lead El Pollo Loco as we capitalize on the significant opportunity ahead of us.”

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco is Orange County’s fifth-largest restaurant chain based in the region ranked by systemwide sales of $1 billion for 2022.

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