Puzder’s Replacement Takes Over at CKE

Jason Marker, most recently president of Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC chain, has taken over as head of CKE Inc., with the departure of Andy Puzder who earlier gave up on his bid to become Labor Secretary.

Puzder, 66, said last year he would leave CKE, the company that is the parent of Carl’s Jr. and  Hardee’s burger stands. However, he indicated he planned to depart next month.

After two months of mounting opposition, Puzder on Feb. 15 withdrew his bid to lead the Department of Labor a day before his delayed Senate confirmation hearing.

From the start of the process, Puzder faced a battle with opposition from Democrats for his position on labor issues and because he employed an undocumented housekeeper.

Puzder moved his company, CKE Restaurants Inc., from the South Coast to Tennessee mainly because of his opposition to California’s new minimum wage law.

“Jason has tremendous experience in franchising, in the QSR sector, and in positioning and growing iconic brands,” Puzder said in  news release. He had served as CKE’s CEO since 2000.

“I expressed my desire to have CKE plan for succession approximately a year ago, and I could not be more pleased to have Jason Marker selected to be the company’s next leader,” Puzder said. “He is an outstanding executive who will continue to build the Hardees and Carl’s Jr. brands both internationally and domestically.”


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