In a reshuffle of the finance chief ranks at two of the largest U.S. restaurant companies, Lance Tucker is joining Jack in the Box after seven years as CFO at Papa John’s.
Tucker’s tenure at Papa John’s will end in March, when he will replace Jerry Rebel as Jack in the Box’s finance chief. His departure follows the resignation of Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter less than a month ago amid slowing sales growth at the pizza chain.
“Lance has been a critical member of our executive leadership team,” Steve Richie, Papa John’s new chief executive, said in a news release. “He has also been instrumental in developing an already strong and deep finance department.”
At Jack in the Box, Rebel announced in April 2017 he would retire from the company when a successor was hired. He will work with Tucker during the transition.
“Lance brings a wealth of restaurant industry experience to our organization,” Jack in the Box CEO Lenny Comma said. “He has a proven history of driving results in several key, strategic business functions, including finance, accounting and IT.”
Tucker initially served as Papa John’s director of finance from 1994 to 1999. After working for companies including Evergreen Real Estate, he rejoined Papa John’s in 2009, serving as chief of staff before being promoted to CFO in February 2011.
Papa John’s said it will immediately begin a search, to include both internal and external candidates, for a new finance chief. For its most recent quarter, the company, which franchises more than 4,700 restaurants, reported that comparable sales grew only 1.0% in North America, down from 5.5% in the year-ago period.
Schnatter, the company’s founder, stepped down as CEO in December after igniting a controversy by commenting on how NFL players’ protests over racism were affecting pizza sales.
Jack in the Box comp sales were down 1.0% for the 12 weeks ended Oct. 1 and the company last month sold its struggling Qdoba brand for $300 million to private equity firm Apollo Management.