Zaxby Announces CEO Transition To Bernard Acoca


Zaxby’s, the beloved premium Chicken QSR founded in Athens, Ga., announced today that CEO and Co-Founder Zach McLeroy would transition to company chairman effective January 2022. Bernard Acoca has been appointed as the company’s new chief executive officer. This news marks an important milestone in Zaxby’s history: Acoca is the first external CEO ever to lead the company since its founding in 1990.

The Transition

The Zaxby’s CEO, Bernard Acoca brings more than 20 years of experience as a marketer and executive within the restaurant industry.

He most recently served as president of Burger King North America, responsible for driving U.S. business performance through comprehensive commercial strategies and leading a high-performing team of over 6,000 members across North America.

Before his time at Burger King Corporation, he held senior leadership roles at Yum! Brands overseeing KFC U.S., Pizza Hut U.S., Taco Bell International, and Pizza Hut International divisions.

McLeroy will continue to be an integral part of Zaxby’s team, transitioning from the Zaxby’s CEO to chairman while actively guiding and supporting the brand’s growth strategy with his extensive business knowledge and commitment to its culture. His passion for creating delicious food experiences for guests will remain a priority even as he transitions into this new role; McLeroy is also expected to focus on developing deeper relationships with existing franchisees and recruiting new ones into the system.


The appointment of Bernard Acoca as CEO marks a critical moment for Zaxby’s CEO and its founder, Zach McLeroy. This transition signifies a bright future for the brand while honoring its past successes under McLeroy’s leadership.

With two decades of experience leading some of the nation’s top restaurant concepts under his belt, Acoca is well-prepared to drive Zaxby’s growth forward while ensuring that McLeroy’s legacy is upheld as a guiding principle throughout his tenure as chairman. We are excited to see what this next chapter holds for Zaxby’s! See this article for more information.


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