Jack in the Box announces promotions

by Bryan Salvage
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SAN DIEGO — Effective Feb. 1, 2010, Jack in the Box Inc. will promote Leonard A. Comma, vice-president of operations, to senior vice-president and chief operating officer. Elana M. Hobson, who is currently the company’s division vice-president of operations initiatives, will succeed Mr. Comma. This announcement follows September’s disclosure that longtime executive Paul L. Schultz will retire as president and chief operating officer on Jan. 31, 2010.

Mr. Comma will be responsible for the operations of all company and franchised Jack in the Box restaurants, as well as restaurant development. He joined Jack in the Box Inc. in 2001 as director of convenience store & fuel operations for the company’s proprietary chain of Quick Stuff convenience stores, which was sold earlier this year. In 2006, he was promoted to regional vice-president of the company’s Southern California region, which included more than 150 company and franchised Jack in the Box restaurants.

Since 2007, Mr. Comma has served as vice-president of operations, Division II, for Jack in the Box Inc., overseeing nearly 1,200 company and franchised Jack in the Box restaurants in California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.

"Lenny has extensive experience in restaurant and retail operations, including franchising, and has excelled in the diverse roles he’s held at Jack in the Box," said Linda A. Lang, chairman and chief executive officer, who will take on the additional role of president when Mr. Schultz retires. "In his current position, he has been instrumental in improving the cost structure of our field operations and has demonstrated outstanding leadership in the successful execution of other key strategic initiatives. We’re looking forward to his continued contributions as we expand Jack in the Box and transform our business model to be predominantly franchised."

Ms. Hobson, a 32-year Jack in the Box veteran, will take over as the new vice president of operations for Division II. In her current role as division vice-president of operations initiatives, she works closely with corporate and field leadership to ensure the timely and successful achievement of strategic goals related to a range of operations initiatives, from incentive programs to guest-service efforts. She joined the company in 1977 as a team member at a restaurant in Hayward, Calif.

"Lani has tremendous experience in all areas of Jack in the Box field operations and has done an outstanding job of leading two important corporate initiatives since relocating to San Diego," Ms. Lang said. "I know she’s looking forward to returning to the field and working with our regional teams on growing sales and further improving upon the operational efficiencies that Lenny initiated during his time in that position. She has some big shoes to fill, but we have every bit of confidence in her leadership abilities."

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