COSTA MESA, CALIF. — Joe Stein, who has been chief financial officer of El Pollo Loco, Inc. for the past six years, has been named to the newly created position of senior vice-president of strategy and innovation for the food service company. In his new position, Mr. Stein will be responsible for leveraging innovation throughout the company in an effort to develop new products and processes.

"Today’s challenging business environment, magnified by intense competition in the restaurant industry, demands that we take a thoughtful look at everything we do," said Steve Carley, president and chief executive officer of El Pollo Loco, Inc. "The changes we have made to our senior management team will help position our brand for continued momentum as the economy comes around. Joe (Stein) is ideally suited for his new innovation role. He is a superb strategic thinker with exceptional team building skills."

Gary Campanaro has been hired to replace Mr. Stein as c.f.o. Mr. Campanaro most recently was the c.f.o. of Claim Jumper Restaurants Holdings Corp.