Jason Maker 
Jason Marker new CEO of CKE Restaurants.

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – CKE Restaurants Holdings, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, announced on March 21 that Jason Marker was selected as the company’s new CEO.

Most recently president of Kentucky Fried Chicken US, Marker has extensive domestic and international QSR experience and a proven track record of revenue and profit growth, innovation, and brand positioning.

He brings with him experience from a variety of senior leadership roles at KFC US, KFC International and Unilever. Marker is expected to start as CEO in April.

Andrew Puzder
Andrew Puzder, outgoing CEO of CKE Restaurants

“Jason has tremendous experience in franchising, in the QSR sector, and in positioning and growing iconic brands,” said Andrew Puzder, who has served as CKE’s CEO since 2000. “I expressed my desire to have CKE plan for succession approximately a year ago, and I could not be more pleased to have Jason Marker selected to be the company’s next leader.”

Puzder, tapped by President Donald Trump for Secretary of Labor, withdrew his nomination in February.

As president of KFC US, Marker was responsible for the overall strategy and performance of business with more than $4.2 billion in system sales, 4,200 restaurants, and 450 franchisees. Marker launched a new advertising campaign in 2015, invested in operations, and partnered with the franchise community to drive profitable growth. His efforts led KFC US to three consecutive years of same-store sales and transaction growth and doubling operating margins.

“I am honored to have been selected as CKE’s next CEO. It is a privilege to lead an organization that has pioneered the quick-service restaurant space for more than 75 years,” Marker said. “As CEO, I will do my best to serve our customers, employees, and franchisees, continuing the company’s strong history of innovation, quality and value.”

Before becoming president in 2013, Marker served KFC and Yum! Brands International in various marketing leadership roles. He also worked in various brand management leadership roles at Unilever. He holds both a Master and Bachelor of Business/Commerce from Victoria Univ. in Wellington, New Zealand.