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Nation’s third largest Pizza Hut franchise operation names new CEO

Former Chipotle exec Jason Cochran joins American West Restaurant Group.
Pizza Hut sign
American West Restaurant Group is the largest franchisee of the brand in California and Utah./Photograph: Shutterstock

Former Chipotle executive Jason Cochran has been named CEO of American West Restaurant Group, Pizza Hut’s third largest franchisee, the company said Wednesday.

Cochran has worked in the restaurant and retail industries for 25 years. He spent the last four years at Chipotle as vice president of operations, overseeing the growth of hundreds of new restaurants. Before that, he was at GameStop for 14 years.

Jason Cochran

Jason Cochran/Photo courtesy of AWRG.

“I’m thrilled to join the AWRG team,” he said in a statement. “I believe that AWRG is poised for growth and success. Now is clearly the right time to advance business process, innovative thinking, improve customer experience and I look forward to bringing my passion for leading operational excellence across the organization.”

Based in Los Angeles, AWRG operates 272 Pizza Hut units in Southern California and in Utah. It’s the largest Pizza Hut franchise operator in California and Utah, and the third largest nationally.

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