Effective October 1, Mike Nolan is stepping into the chief executive officer role at Johnny Rockets Group, Inc., the company announced September 13. Nolan, who served as president for more than a year, is taking over for John Maguire. Maguire, the former chief operating officer and executive vice president of Panera Bread, also left his post as Friendly’s CEO to pursue a different restaurant opportunity. He told MassLive he would reveal the destination at a later time.
Friendly’s, Johnny Rockets, and Boston Market are owned by investment firm Sun Capital Partners
Nolan came to Johnny Rockets in August 2017 from the president position at Pieology Pizzeria. Previously, he served as chief executive of Smashburger for about eight months. He also worked at Corner Bakery Café, Panera, and Bloomin’ Brands. Nolan replaced James Walker at Johnny Rockets, who is currently the vice president of North America at Subway.
“We’re thrilled with the job that Mike has done since joining the Johnny Rockets team,” Johnny Rockets Board of Managers member Jeff Feinberg said in a statement. “Mike has truly earned this promotion through the leadership, dedication, and expertise that he brings to the organization, and we’re looking forward to his continued success.”
Added Nolan: “I’m incredibly honored to be given the opportunity to lead this storied international brand. Over the past year, I have come to appreciate the universal appeal that this brand enjoys around the world, and I’m truly excited to partner with this team to build an even stronger relationship with our customers and our franchisees.”
Maguire assumed the CEO role at Johnny Rockets in 2016. He led Friendly’s since 2012, shortly after the 230-unit brand emerged from bankruptcy. Friendly’s tapped former Boston Market and A&W CEO George Michel its interim CEO as it searches for a permanent replacement.
“It was a true privilege to lead such an exciting brand,” Maguire added in a statement. “It’s clear just how popular Johnny Rockets is across the country—and worldwide—and I’m really proud of the work that I was fortunate enough to be a part of during my time with the organization.”
Lake Forest, California-based Johnny Rockets has more than 400 locations across the globe. Nolan will oversee all business operations, the company said.