Toledo, Ohio-based Marco's Pizza has appointed Bryon Stephens as chief operating officer effective immediately.

As the chain's vice president of Development since 2005, Stephens has been responsible for the development and execution of the company's successful growth strategy including franchisee recruitment and the new store opening process. Stephens joined Marco's Pizza with 22 years of experience developing Yum! Brands, Inc. and Yorkshire Global Restaurants.

When President and CEO Jack Butorac purchased the franchise rights for Marco's Pizza, Stephens was one of his first hires. Butorac describes Stephens as "a tour de force in the franchising community and key to Marco's more than doubling in size in less than five years."

"Bryon has the same values I want our company to have — serve a quality pizza and work with our franchisees as partners. Bryon will continue to lead the development with additional focus on increasing the profitability of our franchise community. Marco's unit economics are strong and with Bryon's focus will become even stronger," Butorac added.

Marco's is on target to open more than 100 more stores by the end of 2013 and currently operates 355 stores in 29 states, the Bahamas and Panama, with more than 1,000 additional sites committed.

As COO, Stephens's goal is to grow the company both in terms of number of pizzerias and in terms of store profitability.

Read more about operations management.

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