After over two decades of serving Zaxby’s Chicken as a co-founder and CEO, Zach McLeroy announced he would transition to his role as Chairman of the Board. Bernard Acoca was appointed the organization’s next Chief Executive Officer, effective January 2022. Zaxby’s is a restaurant chain specializing in chicken fingers, wings, and sandwiches.
The brand has more than 800 restaurants in 17 states and is one of the fastest-growing restaurant chains in the United States. “This transition allows me to focus on building Zaxby’s global brand, expanding our international footprint, and continuing to build great people and culture,” said McLeroy. Zaxby’s CEO, Zach McLeroy, has seen his share of success over a 30-year career.
Bernard Acoca brings over 25 years of experience as a global executive in the restaurant industry. Acoca is known for leading many of the world’s most successful and celebrated brands, like El Pollo Loco and Teavana. Acoca will conduct the organization’s strategy and day-to-day operations to accelerate Zaxby’s growth. “Zaxby’s is a company that has accomplished an incredible amount in such a short time; I am thrilled to join them in their continued success,” said Acoca. “I look forward to working with Zach, his team, and our franchisees as we expand Zaxby’s franchise model worldwide.” This transition to the chairman role will allow Zaxby’s franchisees and other company employees to continue to count on McLeroy’s leadership and expertise as an advisor.
As the new Zaxby’s CEO, Bernard Acoca will oversee a global team of the company’s department heads, regional leaders, financial and operational leaders, and corporate staff. Acoca will continue to focus on the company’s global expansion plan to serve chicken fingers to customers in more than 50 countries by 2023. The customers will also see McLeroy worldwide, as he will continue to travel to Zaxby’s international markets to oversee and support the company’s franchisees, new stores, and growth efforts around the globe.
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Learn more about Acoca on https://www.nrn.com/people/former-el-pollo-loco-ceo-bernard-acoca-named-ceo-zaxby-s