COSTA MESA, Calif. — Steve Carley, president and chief executive officer of El Pollo Loco Inc., has resigned effective Sept. 12 to pursue other opportunities, announced EPL Intermediate Inc., parent company of El Pollo Loco Inc. Steve Sather, senior vice president of operations, will assume the role of acting president and c.e.o. and continue to serve in his current position upon Carley’s departure.

Carley joined El Pollo Loco as president and c.e.o. in April of 2001. During his tenure with the company, he brought the brand an entrepreneurial spirit with a culture of discipline and aligned employees around clearly defined performance criteria.

“Steve Sather’s passion for our brand, restaurant leadership experience and strategic acumen will provide El Pollo Loco strong and effective leadership,” Carley said. “I couldn’t be more pleased or supportive of Steve.”

Sather joined El Pollo Loco in January of 2006 in his current position. Prior to joining El Pollo Loco, he was senior vice-president of retail operations for Great Circle Family Foods LLC, the franchise operator of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts in Southern California. Earlier, Sather was chief operating officer for Rubio’s Restaurants Inc. and held senior management positions with Rally’s Hamburgers, La Salsa Holding Company and Taco Bell.