CKE Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: CKR), announced March 20 that William P. Foley II has stepped down as chief executive officer and Tom Thompson has assumed the CEO position. Thompson, who has been CKE’s president and chief operating officer since October 1994, will remain president.

In addition, Thompson was elected to CKE’s board of directors. Foley will remain CKE’s chairman of the board. Thompson said, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to lead this dynamic company. I have a long history with CKE, beginning in 1984 as a Carl’s Jr. franchisee with seven restaurants. In my five and a half years as president and chief operating officer, we’ve grown dramatically and with that growth has come challenges. We have a tremendous team and I look forward to working together in this new capacity to take CKE to new heights.”

The changes coincide with the merger of Chicago Title Corp. and Fidelity National Financial, Inc., which was completed today. Foley serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Fidelity National Financial.

CKE Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, franchisees and licensees, operates more than 3,800 quick-service restaurants, including 934 Carl’s Jr. restaurants in 13 Western states and Mexico; 2,788 Hardee’s restaurants in 34 states and 11 countries and 122 Taco Bueno restaurants in Texas and Oklahoma.