Joseph Koss, Culver Franchising System Inc.
Joseph Koss will become CEO of Culver's in 2017. 

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis. – Joseph Koss, who has served as CFO of Culver Franchising System Inc. since 2000, was named the burger chain’s president and CEO effective Jan. 1, 2017. Koss succeeds Phil Keiser, who died from natural causes on Oct. 15.

“I’m honored to be given this opportunity,” Koss said in a statement. “We’ve all felt a tremendous loss with the passing of Phil Keiser. But I know Culver’s will continue to stay strong with the roadmap Phil left us that contain our core values and guiding principles.

“I look forward to working with our CFSI team, franchisees, their team members and suppliers as we move forward,” he said.

Koss has overseen the overall financial planning, accounting and control functions such as budgetary, tax, treasury and audit activities. He also led the information systems team and business analysis team at Culver’s.

“Joe has been an outstanding leader in his nearly 20 years here at Culver’s,” said Craig Culver, company co-founder, board chairman and interim-CEO. “In addition to his role as CFO and as a member of our senior leadership team he commands a broad breadth of experience and knowledge in all aspects of the organization including strategic planning, operations, training, marketing, supply chain, human resources, development/design and menu management. The board of directors has full confidence in Mr. Koss as he leads our organization along with a strong and tenured senior leadership team.”

Also effective Jan. 1, Jeff Bonner, senior vice president, will become COO. Bonner brings more than 35 years of experience in the restaurants industry. He joined Culver’s in 1999 as a franchise business consultant. He became director of operations in 2002 before being named vice president of operations in 2006. In his current role as senior vice president, Bonner oversees operations, training and design services. He is credited with supporting franchisees and restaurant growth for 17 years.

 “The growth of our system demands that our management structure reflect that growth and manage it into the future,” Culver said. “Mr. Bonner will work very closely with Mr. Koss on all matters of business operations.”