Whataburger Chairman and CEO Tom Dobson announced today the promotion of COO and Executive Vice President Preston Atkinson to President of the family-owned burger chain which got its start more than fifty years ago.

“We continue to grow successfully and in a manner true to our culture and the legacy that was entrusted to us by my parents Harmon and Grace Dobson,” Dobson says. “Preston understands the important balance of honoring our past as we grow.”

Atkinson has served Whataburger in several positions since 1998, when he formally joined the company. Before that he built restaurants for Whataburger as President and Owner of Atkinson and Associates Builders.

Dobson hand picked Atkinson to join the company as vice president of construction, and in 2001, Atkinson was promoted to chief development officer followed by a promotion to executive vice president and COO in 2005.

“I am honored and humbled by the Dobson family’s decision,” Atkinson says. “My continuing focus is to preserve a legacy that now includes the well-being of more than 18,000 Whataburger team members and our many loyal customers.”

Family-owned Whataburger was founded by Harmon Dobson in Corpus Christi in 1950 as a single roadside burger stand. Recently, it has marked its 54th consecutive quarter of same store sales increases.

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