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Jack in the Box Inc.’s (JACK - Snapshot Report) wholly owned subsidiary, Qdoba Restaurant Corporation, recently announced that it’s President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gary J. Beisler  plans to retire. However, he will hold his position until the company finds his successor.

Former CEO, Beisler joined the largest Mexican fast-casual chain in the U.S. as chief operating officer in 1998, three years after the company was founded. He assumed the position of president in 1999 and of a CEO in 2000. Later in 2003, Jack in the Box acquired the Qdoba brand.

Beisler had an association of 14 years with Qdoba and played a key role in the growth of the brand. Under his leadership, the company expanded from 85 units in 16 states to more than 600 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia.

On the same day, the company announced that Jeffrey Wood has been named as the vice president and chief development officer, which is a newly created position for the Qdoba brand. In his new role, he will be responsible for the development of the brand through both company owned outlets as well as franchising.

Wood has donned many important roles in his illustrious career. Previously, he was the Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer at Dave & Buster’s Holdings, Inc. – a renowned American restaurant and entertainment company– from 2006. Prior to that, he held the post of the Vice President of Restaurant Leasing at Simon Property Group (SPG - Analyst Report) – a commercial real estate company.

With his rich 27 years of experience in the restaurant industry, Wood can easily be tagged as a veteran of that sector. A number of leadership positions held at Brinker International, Inc. (EAT - Analyst Report), coupled with an enriching experience with Carlson Restaurants Worldwide, Inc. also vouch for his expertise.

Management is hopeful that Wood’s vast know-how and expertise regarding restaurant development will add value to Qdoba’s growth during his tenure. In the recently concluded second quarter of 2012, same-store sales at Qdoba’s restaurant were up 2.1%, driven by a 3.3% upside at company-owned restaurants and a 0.9% rise at franchised restaurants. Thus, the brand remains popular and Wood needs to capitalize on this opportunity to enhance the brand further.

Apart from the above mentioned changes, this year, Jack in the Box underwent other executive changes as well. In August, Terri Funk Graham, the company’s senior vice president and chief marketing officer, resigned from his position after 22 years.

San Diego-based Jack in the Box owns total of 2,247 Jack in the Box and 614 Qdoba restaurants, at the end of the second quarter. The company currently carries a Zacks #3 Rank, implying a short-term ‘Hold’ rating on the stock. We are maintaining our long-term ‘Neutral’ recommendation on the stock.
 

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