El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., the nation’s leading fire-grilled chicken restaurant chain, today announced that Laurance Roberts is leaving his position as President, CEO and Director after more than 10 years at the Company. To ensure a smooth transition, Mr. Roberts will continue to provide consulting services to the Company through December 28, 2023.
The Board has engaged a nationally recognized executive search firm to identify a new Chief Executive Officer. While this process continues, Maria Hollandsworth, El Pollo Loco’s Chief Operating Officer, will assume the role of Interim President and CEO. Her appointment will help facilitate a seamless leadership transition until a new CEO is appointed.
“Larry has been an instrumental part of El Pollo Loco’s history as a public company, from serving as our CFO during our initial public offering in 2014 to leading the Company as our CEO for the past two years”, says William Floyd, Chairman of the El Pollo Loco Board. “On behalf of the Board, I want to thank Larry for his leadership and valuable contributions to El Pollo Loco over the past 10 years. It has been a privilege to work with Larry and we wish him the best.”
Mr. Roberts states, “Being part of El Pollo Loco has been the highlight of my career, and I am proud of what we have accomplished together during my time with the Company. I look forward to working with Maria, the rest of the management team and the Board of Directors through the end of the year to ensure the Company is well-positioned for the future.”
Ms. Hollandsworth comments, “I am pleased to be named Interim President and CEO of El Pollo Loco and look forward to working closely with the Board and our senior leadership team to continue to drive our strong brand forward.”
Mr. Floyd continues, “Maria is a seasoned veteran with over 30 years of experience in the restaurant industry. With extensive operational experience across multiple franchised, quick-service brands, we believe Maria is well suited to step into the role of Interim President and CEO. During her tenure at the Company, Maria has put the customer at the forefront of everything we do while driving significant operational improvements. She has been vital in creating our strategic vision and we are excited for her to lead this brand forward. The Board and management team are committed to ensuring a smooth transition, and I look forward to working closely with Maria throughout this process.”