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Former Pizza Inn CEO Moves to Wingstop.

June 12, 2012

I’ve always wondered why pizza and chicken wings are often connected. Pizza chains are serving buffalo wings as appetizers or combining wings and pizza in some kind of combo deal. I mean, who knew that buffalo wings were Italian in the first place? All joking aside, it is obvious that the two are paired for an eternity of gastronomic happiness. This matrimony extends beyond food and culture; it lends itself to the boardroom as well. After almost 6 years with Pizza Inn, Charlie Morrison has resigned from Pizza Inn and is taking over as president and CEO of Wingstop.

Under Morrison’s reign, Pizza Inn has become leaner, but also stronger through better branding initiatives and product development, like the recent launch of Spicy Sicilian Pizzas. On top of new products, Pizza Inn has become the parent company Pizza Inn Holdings, housing the 54 year-old pizza chain and its new sibling, Pie Five Pizza Co.

Taking over for Morrison as Interim Chief Executive Officer will be Clinton J. Coleman. Coleman has served on the Board of Directors since 2007. In the official Pizza Inn press release, Coleman said:

“Charlie has been a great leader for Pizza Inn over the past six years, and we wish him well in the next step of his career. The Board thanks him for his service and we also look forward to a great future, continuing the strong trajectory of two strong brands in the pizza industry.”

Over at Wingstop, which was acquired by Roark Capital Group in 2010, Jim Flynn, who held the president and CEO role, will become Executive Chairman of the board, making room for Morrison as their new fearless leader. Morrison, who plans to continue the initiatives launched under Flynn, said this to Nation’s Restaurant News:

“If you look at the track record of what Jim and the team have accomplished at Wingstop over the past 10 years, it’s been amazing. This company has gone from a little over 80 restaurants to more than 500. They’ve accomplished many years of comparable sales growth. This company is set up beautifully for the long term.”

With multiple national and international franchise deals in the works, as well as their new CEO, the future looks bright for Wingstop. Let’s hope and pray that Pizza Inn Holdings can fill the big shoes left behind.

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