Paul Flanders, who helped create one of the largest restaurant franchisees in the world as CFO of Burger King operator Carrols Restaurant Group, has died, the company said on Monday.
The 62-year-old Flanders died on Saturday surrounded by his family, according to his obituary.
“We are all shocked and saddened by Paul’s passing,” CEO Daniel Accordino said in a statement. “Paul was a highly respected and talented individual whose friendship has meant so much to me personally as well as to the people with whom he worked at Carrols for more than two decades. He will be sorely missed by us all.”
Flanders had been CFO of Syracuse, N.Y.-based Carrols since 1997, a remarkably long tenure for any executive.
He and Accordino helped engineer a unique deal in 2013, spinning off Pollo Tropical owner Fiesta Restaurant Group and then jumping headfirst into the Burger King system.
The company has since grown to become a $1 billion operator, with about 1,000 Burger King and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen locations. It is Burger King’s largest U.S. franchisee.
Flanders himself is a former musician, with the ability to play any instrument, according to his obituary. He was an original member of Nik and the Nice Guys.
Flanders is survived by his wife, Carole Ann, and his daughters Jess and Emily, as well as Tiffany and Shawn Kelly, Brittany and Bill Kittell, and his granddaughters Kennedy, Alexa and Sadie. He is also survived by a brother, Bruce.
Carrols said that Flanders’ duties will be assumed by the existing finance team until a replacement is named. The company has initiated a search for a new CFO.