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Kura Sushi Hires Shake Shack CFO

Names IPO veteran Uttz as new CFO

Kura Sushi USA Inc. has appointed Jeff Uttz as the company’s new chief financial officer following the resignation of his predecessor, Steven Benrubi, in May.

Uttz was previously the CFO at Shake Shack Inc. for four years and was involved in the company’s IPO in 2015 and in opening 45 restaurants during his tenure.

The finance exec has also held leadership roles at Orlando’s Yard House USA Inc. and Tennessee-based CKE Restaurants Inc., parent company to Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito.

“[Uttz] has consistently demonstrated financial leadership and strategic planning skills designed to build strong restaurant brands, and an ability to lead high-growth companies during key phases of their expansion,” Chief Executive Hajime Uba said in a statement. “As we continue to capture our extensive growth opportunities, we believe Jeff is the ideal fit for the future of Kura and we look forward to benefitting from his expertise.”

With a market valuation of nearly $700 million, Kura Sushi (Nasdaq: KRUS) is the second-most-valuable publicly traded restaurant chain based in Orange County, trailing only Chipotle Mexican Grill. The Irvine-based sushi chain reported third-quarter sales more than doubled to $38 million for the period ended May 31.

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