Two Join CKE Restaurants’ C-Suite

The new hires hail from Yum Brands and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Mike Lenihan (left) and Jennifer Tate have joined CKE Restaurant Holdings. Photos Courtesy of CKE Restaurants.

New marketing and financial chiefs are settling in at Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, parent company CKE Restaurant Holdings announced today, Sept. 6.

Here’s a bit more on the company’s two newest hires, both of whom will be based in the greater Middle Tennessee area:

  • Mike Lenihan is now CKE’s chief financial officer. Lenihan spent 20 years with Yum Brands, most recently serving as its vice president of financial planning and analysis and treasury. While with Yum Brands, he led initiatives that changed the company’s operating model and resulted in significant shareholder value creation, says CKE. He has experience in roles responsible for strategic planning, distribution management, development, mergers and acquisitions and finance. “CKE Restaurants is well-positioned to capitalize on the growth opportunities and I am excited to work with this talented team to help the company achieve its goals,” says Lenihan in a release.
  • Jennifer Tate, former SVP and chief marketing officer at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, is taking on the CMO role for Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, effective immediately. While at Cracker Barrel, Tate led the evolution of the menu and the advertising strategy and put in place a new off-premise business plan that led to sustained growth. She also partnered with cross-functional leadership to reinvigorate the brand in the areas of innovation, digital guest experience and data-driven marketing. Prior to Cracker Barrel, Tate spent more than a decade in various leadership roles at Darden Restaurants, culminating in her role as EVP of marketing for Olive Garden from 2017-2020.




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