• Morrell to leave Papa Murphy's, new executives appointed

VANCOUVER, Wash. -- Tom Morrell, president of Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza, will step down on May 1.

A company press release said Morrell would become its executive vice president of external development effective immediately. Morrell, however, said that appointment is only a temporary role in which he would work on special projects until he leaves in about two weeks.

The release did not say when a new president will be appointed.

"It's an amicable departure; I loved what I was doing," said Morrell. "I'm proud of what we've done and of what we were asked to do. It's a much stronger company than it was five years ago."

When Morrell joined Papa Murphy's in 1997 as executive vice president of development, the chain numbered 225 stores. Today there are 716 Papa Murphy's sites in 23 states.

Papa Murphy's also announced two executive appointments.

Mark Laramie is its new executive vice president of operations. Most recently, Laramie was CEO and chairman of CrossPoint Foods, a Denver-based distributor of fresh and frozen fruit, ice cream, coffee syrups and nutritional supplements.

Robert Elliott is Papa Murphy's new executive vice president of marketing. He last was executive vice president of marketing for Quizno's Subs, a 1,300-store chain based in Denver.

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