Chicken Chain’s Next CEO Waits in the Wings

Liz Williams, an experienced multi-unit leader, will take her post at the 490-unit brand next month.

Liz Williams LinkedIn Post
Liz Williams

On March 11, Liz Williams—who’s held leadership roles with Outfox Hospitality, Hart House and Taco Bell—will become the CEO of El Pollo Loco as well as a member of the brand’s Board of Directors. She succeeds interim CEO Maria Hollandsworth, who will now become president in addition to COO.

Up until this month, Williams served as the CEO of Outfox Hospitality, parent company of Foxtrot, a modern cafe and convenience store, and Dom’s Kitchen and Market. Before that, from July 2021 to June 2022, she was CEO of the vegan QSR concept Hart House.

Williams also spent 10 years with Yum Brands and Taco Bell between 2010 and 2020, holding positions including CFO and president of Taco Bell Int’l. During her tenure, she was responsible for the brand strategy, growth and performance of the international business across 30 countries, and she drove notable operational improvements along with sales and profit growth, notes a press release.

ElPolloLocoFitBowls

El Pollo Loco’s menu features fire-grilled chicken in various forms.

El Pollo Loco currently operates in Arizona, California, Nevada, Colorado, Texas, Utah and Louisiana.

“I believe that the opportunities to accelerate the growth of our brand are substantial,” Williams says in a statement. “While the company was born in Mexico over 40 years ago and has become an iconic West Coast brand, I believe we are just getting started.”

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