November 08, 2011 // Franchising.com // VANCOUVER, Wash. – Papa Murphy’s International, America’s take ‘n’ bake pizza leader and fifth largest pizza chain in the U.S., today announced the company’s President Ken Calwell will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer, effective December 31, 2011.
Current CEO John Barr will remain Papa Murphy’s Chairman of the Board and will hand over day-to-day executive duties to Calwell. “Under Ken’s leadership Papa Murphy’s will continue on its successful growth path,” said Barr. “I am confident in his ability to build on our momentum and sustain our strong consumer rankings; I look forward to focusing my chairman’s duties on guiding the brand’s strategic growth.”
Under Barr’s seven-year tenure as CEO, Papa Murphy’s saw system store count increase by 500 (nearly 1,300 stores today), grew year-over-year U.S. systemwide sales by more than 80%, and secured over a dozen best-in-class national awards recognizing the chain’s products, service, value and franchise owner satisfaction.
Calwell joined Papa Murphy’s in June 2011, bringing with him over 20 years of leadership experience at large quick service restaurant chains. This includes his most recent role at Wendy’s International as Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Research and Development. Ken led the development of Wendy’s new brand growth strategy, including the successful testing and national rollout of New Natural Cut Sea Salt Fries, Dave’s Hot N’ Juicy Hamburger line and New Fresh Premium Salad line. Prior to joining Wendy’s, Ken was the Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Product Development at Domino’s Pizza where he was part of the leadership team that led the company through a successful IPO in 2004. Ken has also held leadership positions at Frito Lay, Pizza Hut, and The Pillsbury Company.
Papa Murphy's is the fifth-largest pizza chain in the country and a revolutionary of the take 'n' bake pizza segment. Papa Murphy's operates nearly 1,300 franchised and corporate-owned locations in 37 states and Canada. The Vancouver, Wash.-based company offers custom-made pizzas featuring high-quality, fresh toppings generously layered on pizza dough that is made fresh each morning in each store. By baking Papa Murphy’s pizzas at home, customers get to experience the home-baked aroma of a convenient, delicious meal that the brand is known for. In addition to handmade pizzas, the company offers other take 'n' bake items such as Cheesy Bread, Cinnamon Wheels, and chocolate chip cookie dough. Papa Murphy’s was voted “#1 Rated Pizza Chain” by participants in Zagat Survey’s 2010 & 2011 Fast Food Survey and is a four-time recipient of Pizza Today’s Chain of the Year award. For more information, visit www.papamurphys.com or go to Facebook at www.facebook.com/papamurphyspizza.