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Carley brings to El Pollo Loco a broad range of leadership experiences and more than 20 years of marketing and operations expertise in several dynamic business environments. Most recently, Carley was president of PhotoPoint Corp., the leader in online consumer digital photography. From 1996 to 1998, Carley was president and chief operating officer of Universal City Hollywood where he directed all aspects of the world's number one motion picture and television-themed attraction. His impact is evident across many aspects of that business, most notably in the development and launch of the attraction "Terminator 2, 3-D" and the expansion of Citywalk.
Carley has extensive experience in the quick-service restaurant industry. During his 12 years at PepsiCo in the 1980s and 1990s, Carley served in various areas of both PepsiCo and Taco Bell Corp. As vice president of development for Taco Bell, he achieved significant improvements in new unit performance through enhanced site selection and aggressive cost optimization. Other positions Carley held within Taco Bell include vice president of operations and vice president of field marketing. At PepsiCo International, he served as director of operations for the Arabian Gulf and director of marketing for the Mid-East region.
"Steve is a strong and influential brand leader with a proven track record," said David Horing, chairman of the board of El Pollo Loco and managing director of American Securities Capital Partners, L.P. "He has a strong grasp of the quick-service restaurant industry and substantial experience driving profitable growth for both companies and their franchisees. His commitment to excellence, focus on the customer, and collaborative leadership style will inspire our employees and franchisees to continue their commitment to exceptional guest service and operational excellence."
El Pollo Loco has enjoyed two consecutive years of industry leading sales growth. Same store sales growth for 1999 and 2000 was 7.5% and 7.3%, respectively. This momentum continues in 2001 with year-to-date same-store sales growth through March at 7.7%.
"El Pollo Loco has always provided guests great food and terrific value, and its exceptionally strong performance in the quick-service restaurant industry over the last couple of years is a testament to a great management team and committed franchisees. It is a vibrant, healthy brand with a strong focus on the customer and highly distinguished products that appeal to virtually everyone," said Carley. "I am very excited about leading the employees and franchisees of El Pollo Loco in their relentless commitment to consistently deliver an outstanding experience to our guests."
Carley, 48, will be based at El Pollo Loco's headquarters in Irvine. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Lois, and two sons, Mike and B.J. Carley holds a master's degree with a concentration in marketing from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree "with high distinction" in finance from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill.