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Zaxby’s adds development and tech chiefs

The chicken finger chain, which has been shaking up its C-suite, named Mike Mettler chief development officer and Mike Nettles was promoted to chief digital-technology officer.
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Zaxby’s is bolstering its C-suite, adding a chief development officer and a chief digital-technology officer, the 900-unit chicken finger chain announced Tuesday.

Mike Mettler is the Athens, Ga.-based chain’s new chief development officer. Mike Nettles, who previously held the digital position on an interim basis, was promoted to the long-term post.

Mettler comes to Zaxby’s from Orangetheory Fitness, where he served as chief development officer for the last three years. He has also held franchise posts at Dairy Queen and Domino’s Pizza.

"Zaxby's is focused on DMA prioritization, developing a more robust recruitment platform and delivering options that provide flexibility while maximizing profitability," Zaxby’s CEO Bernard Acoca said in a statement. "Mike Mettler will guide these targets, cultivate relationships and collaborate with our franchisees to continue scaling the brand."

Nettles joined Zaxby’s last year, after spending 30 years in retail and hospitality companies. He held leadership posts at Papa John’s and Panera Bread.

At Zaxby’s, Nettles will focus on developing the chain’s digital infrastructure and will lead the development and design of the brand’s new mobile app, loyalty program and ecommerce platform set to launch this summer, the company said.

"Mike Nettles has made incredible strides in advancing our efforts to provide guests with a personalized digital experience," Acoca said. "We are thrilled to welcome him as a long-term addition to our executive leadership team and look forward to fully transforming the Zaxby's guest experience under his leadership."

Zaxby’s has shaken up its C-suite in recent months.

Earlier this month, Michelle Morgan was promoted to chief people officer, the first time the company has had such a role. In April, Zaxby’s named Sharlene Smith COO. And last fall, Acoca took over as CEO, taking over from co-founder and CEO Zach McLeroy.

"These are seasoned executives who have achieved great success within some of the most recognizable brands in our industry," Acoca said of the latest appointments. "With development and digital strategies central to our growth, I am confident that both are the right people to move our brand into the next phase."


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