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Whataburger names a new chief legal officer

Elena Kraus takes over for the retiring Michael Gibbs at the 880-unit burger chain.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Whataburger has a new chief legal officer.

Elena Kraus, who has more than 30 years of in-house legal experience, will also be added as an executive vice president at the San Antonio-based burger chain.

Kraus takes over for Michael Gibbs, Whataburger’s current EVP and chief legal and franchise officer, who retires at the end of April after 17 years with the chain.

Kraus previously served as general counsel for Walgreens. She will start with Whataburger next month.

While at Walgreens, Kraus built and led the chain’s legal team, mentored workers across the organization and promoted the company’s legal pro bono program.

“Elena is a legal powerhouse with deep knowledge of corporate law and decades of experience navigating a fast-growing retail giant,” Gibbs said in a statement. “Her expertise will be so valuable as Whataburger continues to grow and expand.”

Whataburger was founded in 1950 and now, thanks to building a cult following, has more than 880 restaurants across 14 states.

In August 2020, Whataburger promoted longtime CFO Ed Nelson to CEO, a year after BDT Capital Partners purchased the chain.


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