Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s Hire New Marketing and Financial Chiefs

by Katie Lee

Franklin, Tenn. — CKE Restaurants Holdings Inc. (CKE), company of the brands Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, has appointed Jennifer Tate to the position of chief marketing officer and Mike Lenihan to chief financial officer, effective immediately. Tate comes from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®, most recently serving as senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Lenihan comes from Yum! Brands®, most recently serving as vice president of planning and analysis and treasury.

“I am thrilled to welcome Jennifer and Mike to the CKE leadership team and look forward to working alongside them, our teams and our franchise partners to unlock transformation and growth at CKE,” says Max Wetzel, chief executive officer at CKE. “Carl’s and Hardee’s are iconic brands with so much potential and amazing people supporting them. I know Jennifer and Mike are excited, ready to hit the ground running and drive positive results for our organization.”

While at Cracker Barrel, Tate successfully led the evolution of the menu and the advertising strategy and put in place a new off-premises business plan that led to sustained growth. She also partnered with cross-functional leadership to reinvigorate the brand in the areas of innovation, digital guest experience and data-driven marketing. Prior to Cracker Barrel, she spent more than a decade in various leadership roles culminating in executive vice president and head of marketing for Olive Garden at Darden Restaurants.

With 20 years of broad experience at Yum!, Lenihan successfully led functions at both the corporate and brand levels. While part of the Yum! corporate team, Mike Lenihan led transformative initiatives that successfully changed the company’s operating model and resulted in significant shareholder value creation. In his Yum! brand roles with KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and others, Lenihan served in strategic planning, distribution management, development, mergers and acquisitions and finance roles.

CKE, a privately held company based in Franklin, Tenn., runs and operates Carl’s Jr.® and Hardee’s®, Restaurants. With both a U.S. and international footprint, Carl’s Jr. Restaurants LLC and Hardee’s Restaurants LLC have over 3,800 franchised or company-operated restaurants in 44 states and 39 foreign countries and U.S. territories. For more information visit or its brand sites at and

SOURCE: CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.

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