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Pei Wei has a new CEO

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After selling pizza and burgers as the operations specialist for a multi-concept franchisee, John "J" Hedrick has moved to the Pei Wei fast-casual Asian chain as CEO.

The concept, the little sister to P.F. Chang’s, said Hedrick joined the concern on Jan. 30, but his appointment was not announced until Feb. 21.

Hedrick was previously COO Of NPC International, an operator of 1,300 Pizza Huts and Wendy’s franchised restaurants generating annual sales of $1.2 billion, Pei Wei said.

He fills the vacancy left by the departure of Ralph Bower, who left the top job at Pei Wei to become CEO of The Melt grilled-cheese-sandwich fast-casual chain.

NPC is much larger than Pei Wei, which currently has 200 stores in 21 states.

Hedricks has also worked for 7-Eleven and the Pilot Flying J truck-stop chain.

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