Bojangles' Restaurants Inc. announced that Randy Kibler plans to retire from his role as president and chief executive officer once a successor is identified, but will remain an active member of the company's board of directors thereafter. No other executive changes are anticipated.
Kibler, 59, will remain in his current role until a successor is selected by a search committee formed by the Bojangles' board of directors. Global executive search consulting firm Spencer Stuart has been retained to lead the search for a new leader. Both internal and external candidates are being considered to lead the Charlotte-based company, which boasts approximately 550 franchised and company-owned chicken and biscuit restaurants in 10 Southeastern states plus the District of Columbia.
"It is difficult to retire from an organization with so much momentum and blessed with such fine people,” Kibler says. "But after more than 40 years in the restaurant business it's time to spend more time with our grandchildren while supporting our church and community alongside my lovely wife of 39 years, Nancy. The Bojangles' brand has never been stronger, and it has never been in better hands than with the leadership team we have assembled and the ownership group that has supported our vision every step of the way."
Andrew Crawford, a principal at Advent International, the global private equity firm that bought a controlling interest in Bojangles' in 2011, praised Kibler for leading the company on its current path of steady expansion and same-store sales growth, expressing gratitude for the continuity that will come from the industry veteran's ongoing service on the company's board of directors.
"Under Randy's leadership Bojangles' increased its number of restaurants by nearly 50 percent and produced steady revenue gains, even during the recent recession," Crawford says. "We are grateful that, by agreeing to serve on the board of directors, Randy will continue to offer Bojangles' his deep knowledge of the quick-service category and his insight into the importance of aligning the brand with its franchisee system."
Kibler joined Bojangles' in 2007 when the company was acquired by an investment group led by Falfurrias Capital Partners, a Charlotte-based private equity firm co-founded by former Bank of America executives Hugh L. McColl Jr. and Marc Oken. Also part of that investment group was Jerry Richardson, former chairman and CEO of Flagstar Cos. Inc. and founder and owner of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. Kibler began his career in 1970 as an hourly employee of Richardson's Spartan Foods at a Hardee's in Columbia, South Carolina, and spent 26 years working at Spartan Foods and later Flagstar, where his roles included president and chief operating officer of the company's 600-restaurant Hardee's division, overseeing Quincy's Family Steakhouse, and serving as vice president of the western division of Denny's.
During Kibler's tenure Bojangles' has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing, free-standing quick service restaurant concept in the country, receiving numerous other awards and accolades. The company regularly appears on lists of top franchise opportunities as well as Inc.magazine's list of fastest-growing private companies.
"It has been a blessing to lead a company with a 36-year history of offering a unique taste and experience that people truly crave," Kibler says. "Our terrific food, our wonderful people, and our success in all three dayparts have been the key to Bojangles' reaching new heights, and we are confident the brand will continue to do so for many years to come."