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Just five months after being named president, Papa Murphy's International has promoted Ken Calwell to the chief executive officer position, effective Dec. 31.
Current CEO John Barr will remain Papa Murphy's Chairman of the Board.
"Under Ken's leadership Papa Murphy's will continue on its successful growth path," Barr said. "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 percent and secured more than 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 more than 20 years of experience in the quick-service segment. This includes his most recent role at Wendy's International as chief marketing officer and EVP of Research and Development.
Calwell led the development of Wendy's new brand growth strategy, including the successful testing and national rollout of Natural Cut Sea Salt Fries, Dave's Hot N' Juicy Hamburger line and Premium Salad line.
Prior to joining Wendy's, Calwell was the CMO and EVP of Product Development at Domino's Pizza where he was part of the leadership team that led the company through an IPO in 2004. He has also held leadership positions at Frito Lay, Pizza Hut and The Pillsbury Company.
Calwell holds a bachelor's degree from Washburn University and an MBA from Indiana University. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
Papa Murphy's take 'n bake concept is the fifth largest pizza chain in the United States.
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