El Pollo Loco Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: LOCO) said President and CEO Bernard Acoca has resigned, effective Friday.


Acoca, who turned in his resignation to the company Monday, is expected to stay on as a consultant for 45 days to assist with the leadership transition, according to a regulatory filing.


The company’s board said Chief Financial Officer Laurance Roberts will serve as interim CEO.


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El Pollo Loco Board Chair Michael Maselli thanked Acoca in a statement for his work at El Pollo Loco.


“Bernard and his team successfully navigated through the many challenges of the pandemic, and today the company is stronger than ever with increasing sales and a strong connection with our customers. Under Bernard’s leadership, we have accelerated our digital penetration and positioned the company for success over the coming years. Bernard will always be part of the extended El Pollo Loco family, and we wish him the best in his new endeavors,” Maselli said.


Acoca joined El Pollo Loco in 2018 from Starbucks’ tea business Teavana, where he served as president. He initially went to work rolling out what he called a transformation strategy at El Pollo Loco that focused on operational efficiencies, brand differentiation and building culture. More recently, the chain turned to restaurant remodels and growth.


El Pollo Loco, with 480 restaurants, was trading down 2.6% in midday trading Friday to $16.27 for a market cap of $598 million.