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Kibler succeeds Joe Drury, who has led the restaurant group since he and his partners purchased the company in 1998. Drury earlier had indicated his intent to transition to his other business interests following the September 12 acquisition of Bojangles’ by an investor group led by Falfurrias Capital Partners, a Charlotte-based private equity firm co-founded by former Bank of America CEO Hugh L. McColl Jr.
Drury retains an ownership interest in Bojangles’ and a position on the board of directors. He will continue to serve the company as a consultant.
Jerry Richardson, co-investor with Falfurrias, former chairman and CEO of Flagstar Cos. Inc., founder and owner of the NFL Carolina Panthers and one of Bojangles’ largest and most successful franchise owners, has been a mentor to Kibler throughout an association that goes back to the beginning of Kibler’s career.
Kibler began his career in 1970 as an hourly employee of Richardson’s Spartan Foods at a Hardee’s in Columbia, S.C. He spent 26 years working with Richardson at Spartan Foods and later Flagstar Cos. Inc., where he served as senior vice president as well as president and chief operating officer of the 600-restaurant Hardee’s division, at the time the largest franchise restaurant chain in the U.S. Kibler’s tenure at Flagstar also included additional responsibilities as president and chief operating officer of Quincy’s Family Steakhouse and vice president of the western division of Denny’s. Since 2002, Kibler has been a partner in companies that served as developers and area representatives for Firehouse Restaurant Group Inc., the franchisor of Firehouse Subs restaurants.
Bojangles’, founded by Jack Fulk and Richard Thomas in July 1977, currently serves guests at 386 locations in 11 states, Honduras and Mexico. Fueled by updated stores and an aggressive marketing campaign and market-expansion program, Bojangles’ has recorded 49 consecutive months of same-store sales increases and posted record sales of more than half a billion dollars in 2006. Recent expansion has added locations in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and additional 2007 openings are slated for New Jersey and Pennsylvania.