Hector Muñoz

Hector Muñoz

Costa Mesa-based El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) named Hector Muñoz chief marketing officer ahead of an expected spring 2019 relaunch of the brand.

Munoz comes from Church’s Chicken and has worked at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, both in Atlanta. Earlier in his career he worked for an advertising agency covering Irvine-based Taco Bell’s account, his LinkedIn profile said.

El Pollo Loco Chief Executive Bernard Acoca joined in March from Starbuck’s former Teavana brand and its first Chief People Officer, Jennifer Jaffe, came on in August from Estee Lauder’s Too Faced Cosmetics unit in Irvine.

Acoca said Muñoz’ “industry experience and knowledge, paired with strong leadership skills” will help “grow the love of our customers” for El Pollo Loco.

Church’s had five consecutive quarters and Popeyes had six consecutive years of same-store sales growth during his tenures.

Chief Marketing Officer Ed Valle left in June after seven years at El Pollo Loco; his LinkedIn profile doesn’t list a new company role.

El Pollo Loco is the 4th-largest OC-based restaurant chain with $840 million in annual systemwide sales, about 480 locations, and a $600 million market cap.