Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ: JACK) today announced that Linda A. Lang will retire as the company’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2014. Leonard A. Comma, currently President and Chief Operating Officer, will become Chairman, CEO and President of Jack in the Box Inc. at that time.
“Linda has done a remarkable job of leading the organization and transforming the business model,” said David Goebel, Lead Director of the Jack in the Box Inc. Board of Directors. “The company, its shareholders and other stakeholders are better off as a result of her vision and leadership. We are extremely grateful for her many contributions to the organization, which is well positioned for continued success.
“Linda has driven a comprehensive and robust key-position and succession planning process with which the Board is actively involved. Through this process, a strong leadership team is in place to support Lenny as he moves into his new role. The Board is highly confident that Lenny has the background, experience and skills necessary to seamlessly step into his new role and provide exceptional ongoing leadership for both brands.”
Since joining the company in 1984, Lang has held various positions of increasing responsibility in marketing, operations and finance, including officer-level positions since 1996. In 2003 she was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer, and she held those positions until she was elected Chairman and CEO in 2005. In addition to her duties at Jack in the Box Inc., Lang serves on the board of directors for the WD-40 Company (NASDAQ: WDFC), San Diego State University’s College of Business Administration and the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. She is also a member of the Corporate Directors Forum.
Under Lang’s leadership as Chairman and CEO, Jack in the Box Inc. has transformed its business model to benefit from increased franchise ownership of the Jack in the Box brand and expansion of its Qdoba Mexican Grill concept. Highlights include:
- Franchise ownership of the Jack in the Box brand has increased from approximately 25 percent in 2005 to nearly 77 percent today.
- The company has returned over $1 billion of cash to shareholders through stock repurchases.
- Jack in the Box common stock has appreciated 170 percent, as of yesterday’s market close.
- The Qdoba system has expanded from 250 restaurants in 37 states to approximately 600 locations today in 45 states and Canada.
- The Jack in the Box system has added more than 200 restaurants and expanded its presence from 17 states to 21.
“I’m proud of my accomplishments and grateful for the tremendous support and commitment of our employees, franchisees and business partners who have worked so hard to achieve the transformation of our business,” Lang said. “I’m excited to see Lenny succeed me as Chairman and CEO. His extraordinary leadership skills, along with a great executive team that includes new Qdoba President Tim Casey, will enable the company to execute its strategic plan and continue its strong performance.”