CKE Adds New CMO, CFO From Cracker Barrel, Yum! Brands


CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. (CKE), parent company of the brands Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, today announced the appointment of Jennifer Tate as chief marketing officer and Mike Lenihan as chief financial officer. Both Tate and Lenihan will be based in the greater Middle Tennessee area.

Tate most recently served as senior vice and chief marketing officer for Cracker Barrel Old Country Store. While at Cracker Barrel, Tate led the menu evolution and headed advertising strategy. She also previously served as executive vice president and head of marketing for Olive Garden (part of Darden Restaurants) where she led the chain’s successful rebrand. The CMO position was recently held by Tana Davila, who was named chief marketing officer at Dutch Bros in June. 



Lenihan joins CKE from Yum! Brands, where he was vice president of planning, analysis and treasury. Lenihan spent more than 20 years with Yum! Brands and led several initiatives that affected operating models and resulted in increased shareholder value creation. With Yum! Brands including KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and others, Lenihan served in strategic planning, distribution management, development, mergers and acquisitions and finance roles. He replaces previous CFO J. Brandon Turner, who left the company in June.

"I … welcome Jennifer and Mike to the CKE leadership team and look forward … to unlock(ing) transformation and growth at CKE," says Max Wetzel, chief executive officer at CKE. "Carl's and Hardee's are … brands with so much potential … and I know Jennifer and Mike are ready to hit the ground running and drive positive results for our organization."

CKE, a privately held company based in Franklin, Tennessee, runs and operates Carl's Jr. and Hardee's Restaurants. Between the two brands, CKE has 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 39 foreign countries and U.S. territories.

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