AFC Enterprises, Inc. c.e.o. to step down March 30

by Eric Schroeder
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ATLANTA — Kenneth L. Keymer, president and chief executive officer of AFC Enterprises, Inc., announced his resignation, effective March 30. AFC franchises and operates Popeyes Chicken & Biscuits, Church’s Chicken, Cinnabon and Seattle’s Best Coffee.

Mr. Keymer joined Popeyes in June 2004 as president and was promoted to AFC’s c.e.o. in September 2005. From January 2002 to May 2004, he was president and co-c.e.o. of Noodles & Company. Earlier, he was president and chief operating officer of Sonic Corp. from 1996 to 2002.

The board of directors of AFC has hired an executive search firm to work with the company to find a new chief executive with proven industry leadership. Until that time, Frederick B. Beilstein, former chief financial officer of AFC Enterprises from 2004-05, has been named interim c.e.o. Mr. Beilstein has been a managing partner of Equicorp Partners, L.L.C., an Atlanta-based investment and advisory services firm since 2005. He has remained an active consultant to AFC and the Popeyes brand since his departure, and his day-to-day responsibilities will include working with the existing management team to oversee the execution of the company’s operations.

AFC also announced the promotion of James W. Lyons, the company’s chief development officer, to the newly created position of chief operating officer. Mr. Lyons joined the Popeyes management team in July 2004 and has played a key role in improving the company’s development pipeline and accelerating new restaurant openings. Prior to joining Popeyes, he held senior executive positions with Burger King Corp., Domino’s Pizza, and Denny’s Corp.

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