Due to the progression of Zaxby’s CEO and co-founder Zach McLeroy to his current position as the company’s Chairman, the position of CEO has been designated for Bernard Acoca. He joins the franchise as the first-ever non-founder CEO, having inherited Zaxby’s from Zach, who has been the sole Chief Executive Officer since the company’s inauguration in 1990.
Established by two childhood confidants, Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley, Zaxby’s franchise makes mouth-watering sandwiches, chicken fingers, salads, and wings. Backed by a dynamic, actively involved franchise community, Zaxby’s has expanded to over 900 outlets across 17 states in the United States. “Spearheading Zaxby’s Chicken has been a remarkable, transformational journey,” Zach McLeroy said. “I am truly lucky to have had a rare opportunity to collaborate with dedicated and skillful team members and brand partners with whom we share the same commitment to our mission –– constantly developing extra performance experiences that enhance lives, an individual at a time.”
Having gained over twenty years of experience in marketing and management within the restaurant sector, Bernard Acoca is the ideal CEO for Zaxby’s. Since 2018, he has worked as CEO and president of El Pollo Loco, where he served for three and half years. During this period, Bernard took the brand through a digital e-commerce transformation that quickly accelerated and streamlined its growth. Before this, Acoca invested seven years at Starbucks, working in various positions, including senior vice president and marketing.
Bernard Acoca also served as president of Teavana and chief marketing officer for the Americas for L’Oreal while investing 10 years at Yum! Having worked in the industry and for various brands, Bernard Acoca has garnered experience that makes him the best CEO to take the brand forward to the next level. “It’s a great honor to take up this challenge of stepping into the shoes of Zach McLeroy as the first non-founder Chief Executive Officer, ” commented Acoca. Refer to this page to learn more.