ATLANTA — Effectively immediately, Mel Deane was appointed chief executive officer of Church’s Chicken by the company’s board of directors. Mr. Deane replaces Harsha Agadi, who will remain on the board of directors.

During the past decade, Mr. Deane has worked closely with many of the companies owned by Friedman, Fleischer & Lowe, a San Francisco-based private-equity company and owner of Church’s. He has held senior leadership positions in many of their portfolio companies, most recently as c.e.o. of Discovery Foods, the leading manufacturer of Asian branded frozen foods. Since August, he has been executive vice-president and general manager of U.S. Operations for Church’s Chicken, where he accelerated operational and marketing improvements, as well as product development, the company relayed.

"There is no better time to build enterprise value and grow a company than now, when others are cutting back due to difficult economic conditions," said David Lowe, founding partner of F.F.L. "Mel Deane is a true ‘value builder’ who focuses relentlessly on the consumer. He did it at Discovery Foods, and we are confident that he will do it again with Church’s Chicken."