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Mike Nolan named CEO of Johnny Rockets

The company’s president is replacing John Maguire, who is leaving.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Johnny Rockets Group said on Thursday that it is promoting President Mike Nolan to CEO. He will replace John Maguire, who is departing the company “after accepting another opportunity.”

Nolan will officially begin as head of the casual-dining burger chain on Oct. 1.

“Mike has truly earned this promotion through the leadership, dedication and expertise that he brings to the organization,” Jeff Feinberg, a member of Johnny Rockets’ board of managers, said in a statement.

This isn’t Nolan’s first go-round as a restaurant company CEO. He has been part of the executive staff since last year, when he joined the company from Pieology, where he was the chain’s president.

He spent time as CEO of Smashburger in 2016 and has worked with Corner Bakery, Panera Bread and Bloomin’ Brands.

He takes over as CEO of a company that has seen its U.S. unit count shrink in recent years, to 190 last year, even as its international expansion flourishes. The company had 201 locations outside the U.S. as of the end of 2017, according to Technomic data, up 13% over the year before.

Maguire, who was also the CEO of Friendly’s, was named CEO of Johnny Rockets in 2016 and had kept both titles since then. The private-equity firm Sun Capital Partners owns both chains. Maguire will remain as an advisory to the organization and to Nolan “to ensure a seamless transition.”

Friendly’s named former Boston Market CEO George Michel interim CEO to replace Maguire.

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