ATLANTA – Global chicken quick-service restaurant chain Church’s Texas Chicken and Texas Chicken announced Joe Guith as the brand’s chief executive officer, effective Aug. 1. Guith brings extensive experience to the position and plans to push the brand through a new phase of growth. He also has deep expertise working in a highly franchised organization.

In addition to driving continual growth, Guith will lead insights-driven investments in technology to mirror evolving consumer behaviors, such as an enhanced digital customer experience, including a new mobile app and loyalty program.

“I’m impressed with this brand’s resiliency and its ability to navigate a challenging environment over the past few years,” Guith said. “With a strong base of domestic and international franchisees and a number of strategic growth initiatives on the horizon, this is an exciting and defining time in this great brand’s history. I look forward to expanding the brand’s footprint so that Church’s Texas Chicken continues to thrive and reach new customers across the globe, particularly in new major markets abroad.”

Prior to joining Church’s Texas Chicken, Guith served as restaurant category president for Focus Brands where he oversaw a portfolio of more than 1,500 restaurants across the Moe’s Southwest Grill, McAlister’s Deli and Schlotzsky’s brands. He has held brand president positions at both McAlister’s Deli and Cinnabon, realizing steady growth, expanded customer bases and improved unit level economics during his tenure. Early in his career he was general manager of the KFC South Territory, as well as serving several roles for the Coca Cola Company.

“As a strategic leader with extensive category expertise, Joe’s proven track record supports our efforts to build upon the brand’s strong foundation to drive future success,” said Anand Gowda, founder of High Bluff Capital Partners, which owns Church’s Texas Chicken along with various alternative investment funds managed by FS Investments. “His expertise in operating restaurants, combined with his passion for growing brands, accelerating digital capabilities and developing high-performing teams, will be incredibly valuable to the Church’s Texas Chicken system.”

Guith replaces Joe Christina, who served as CEO and president of Church’s Texas Chicken for six years, leading the company through unprecedented times for the restaurant industry and driving the brand’s continued expansion, adding hundreds of restaurants around the world.