Papa Murphy’s Holdings has appointed its board chair, Jean Birch, to the position of interim chief executive officer, effective immediately. The leadership change follows the resignation of Ken Calwell as CEO and director in order to pursue other interests, according to a news release.
A search for a permanent CEO is under way with both internal and external candidates under consideration, as well as a continued search to fill the director's seat, which was vacated by John Barr last September.
Birch has been board chair since September and a board member since April 2015. She has previously served as the president of IHOP Restaurants Inc., Romano’s Macaroni Grill and Corner Bakery Cafe. She has also been a member of leadership with Yum Brands, including operations VP for Taco Bell and senior director of concept development for Pizza Hut.
"While the general climate in the quarter continued to be challenging, we believe we are at a key inflection point at Papa Murphy’s, having successfully laid the groundwork for many of our long-term strategic initiatives," Birch said in a news release. "We look forward to seeing the results of these initiatives in 2017 and for years to come."