Andrew F. Puzder
Chief Executive Officer, CKE Restaurants, Inc.

Theodore Abajian
Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer

Jim Sullivan
Executive Vice President,
Domestic Development

Jeffrey P. Chasney
Executive Vice President,
Strategic Planning and
Chief Information Officer

John J. Dunion
Executive Vice President,
Supply Chain Management

Eric Williams
Chief Operating Officer

Brad R. Haley
Chief Marketing Officer

E. Michael Murphy
President and Chief Legal Officer

Ned Lyerly
President, International

Click a team member’s name to view their individual bio.

CKE Restaurants, Inc.


Andrew F. Puzder is the CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. He earned a Juris Doctorate in 1978 from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Mo., where he served as Senior Editor on the Law Review. From 1978 through 1991, Puzder was a commercial trial lawyer in St. Louis at the law offices of famed St. Louis attorney Morris A. Shenker, who he represented in various matters, from 1978 to 1984. In 1984 he moved to the Stolar Partnership where he worked with another renowned St. Louis trial lawyer Charles A. Seigel from 1984 to 1991. During this period of time, Puzder was involved in a number of high-profile cases.

While practicing law in St. Louis, Puzder met Carl Karcher, the founder of the Carl’s Jr. quick-service restaurant chain. Karcher was embroiled in serious financial difficulties and asked Puzder to move to California as his personal attorney. In 1991, Puzder relocated to Orange County, Calif. He is credited with resolving Karcher’s financial dilemma, allowing Karcher to avoid bankruptcy and retain a significant ownership interest in the company he founded, CKE Restaurants, Inc. (“CKE”).

Puzder principally resolved Karcher’s financial problems by putting together a transaction with William P. Foley, the Chairman and CEO of Fidelity National Financial, Inc. In 1994, Foley became Chairman and CEO of CKE and Karcher became Chairman Emeritus. In 1995, Puzder went on to become Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity, managing one of the largest corporate legal departments in the country. He also worked with Foley to create the Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, a conglomerate of restaurant chains. Puzder served as the company’s CEO.

In 1997, Puzder was also named Executive Vice President and General Counsel for CKE. In 1997, CKE purchased Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc., which owned the Hardee’s quick-service restaurant brand. Hardee’s was a distressed brand and CKE was burdened by over $700 million in debt following the acquisition. The company underperformed and its market capitalization dropped to about $200 million. Faced with serious financial and operational issues, CKR’s Board of Directors named Puzder as president and CEO of Hardee’s Food Systems in June 2000 and named him president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. in September of that year. Puzder is credited with turning around both the Hardee’s brand and CKE, allowing the company to survive become financially secure and return to growth.

In July of 2010, the private equity firm Apollo Management took CKE private in a transaction valued at $1 billion. Apollo retained CKE’s management team including Puzder, who remains as CEO. The Company currently owns or franchises over 3,250 restaurants in the United States and 26 foreign countries, generates $1.3 billion in annual revenue and, with its franchisees, employs more than 70,000 people in the U.S.

In 2010, the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association awarded Puzder with the Food Service Operator of the Year Silver Plate Award in recognition of outstanding service and dedication to the foodservice industry. In 2009, Cleveland State University named Puzder Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Also in 2009, Puzder was honored as Coach Arts Man of the Year. Puzder earned the prestigious Golden Chain Award in 2008 from Nation’s Restaurant News, in honor of his outstanding accomplishments and career achievements as a multi-unit foodservice executive. PR News and CommCore Consulting named Puzder 2005 Spokesperson of the Year for his work in representing the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands on television and radio. In 2011, he was appointed to serve on the National Advisory Board of Washington University School of Law.

Puzder, who has been called a “poster CEO for the regulatory reform effort,” has been a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities and a guest on business news programs including “Your World w/ Neil Cavuto,” “The O’Reilly Factor” with Bill O’Reilly, “Mad Money” with Jim Cramer, “Fast Money,” “Power Lunch” “Lou Dobbs Tonight” and “Squawk on the Street.” He recently co-wrote the book Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn’t Understand It. Puzder is a frequent author on economic and legal issues in periodicals such as Human Events, Politico, and the Orange County Register.

In 2011, Puzder received the honor of contributing to Believe in America, Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth. He was an Economic Adviser is a spokesman for the Romney Campaign for President. Puzder also served as a Delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention and as the Chairman of the Platform Committee’s Sub-Committee on the Economy, Job Creation and the Debt.



Theodore Abajian was appointed executive vice president and chief financial officer of CKE Restaurants, Inc. in April 2003. Mr. Abajian joined the Company as chief administrative officer in March 2002, following the completion of the acquisition of Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc.

Prior to the merger, Abajian served as president and chief executive officer of Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc. beginning in November 2000 and as executive vice president and chief financial officer from May 1998. From January 2000 to October 2000, Abajian held the position of senior vice president and chief financial officer for Checkers Drive-In Restaurants, Inc. Prior to joining Santa Barbara Restaurant Group, Inc., Abajian served as chief financial officer of Star Buffet, Inc. since the company’s formation in July 1997.

Abajian holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Oregon in Eugene.



Jim Sullivan joined CKE in June of 2012 as the Senior Vice President of Domestic Franchise Development. In this role, he was responsible for restaurant and franchise development, including managing franchise sales and growth of the domestic franchise system. Through his leadership, CKE’s franchise community experience substantial and sustained growth, including generating the highest net increase in U.S. locations among all traditional freestanding hamburger drive thru restaurants during 2015. In January of 2016, Jim was promoted to Executive Vice President of Domestic Development. In this new role, Jim is spearheading the domestic and real estate development activities and focus on the company’s agenda for continual growth.

Prior to joining CKE, Jim served as Senior Vice President and Chief Development Officer for Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC where he was responsible for the company’s development, real estate and franchising activities.



Having joined CKE Restaurants, Inc. as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) in April 2000, Jeff Chasney was named executive vice president, strategic planning and chief information officer in October 2003. He is responsible for providing the Company with performance forecasting and strategic direction for using technology and information to enhance corporate profitability.

Before joining CKE Restaurants, Inc., Chasney was with Clark Refining and Marketing for four years as vice president and chief information officer. Additionally, Chasney has more than 13 years experience in the foodservice industry, having served as vice president and chief information officer at VICORP Restaurants, Inc. and Long John Silver’s, Inc.

Chasney received his bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics at Wayne State University in Detroit.



John J. Dunion was named executive vice president, supply chain management for CKE Restaurants, Inc. in July 2001.

Dunion joined the Company in 1996 as vice president, purchasing, and was promoted to senior vice president, purchasing in 1998. Prior to assuming his current position, Dunion served as executive vice president, chief administrative officer.

Before joining CKE Restaurants, Inc., Dunion was with Unigate Restaurants, Inc. where he served as director and then vice president of purchasing. He has also held purchasing and technical management positions with Jack in the Box restaurants and Taco Bell Corporation. A graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Dunion holds a bachelor’s degree in biology.



Eric Williams was named Chief Operating Officer in June 2015. He previously served as executive vice president, operations for Carl’s Jr. from August 2011 to June 2015. He started his career at Hardee’s as a crew member in 1983, advancing through the ranks with management positions in both Company and franchise operations and training. Williams helped develop and implement “Operation QSC” and “Six Dollar Service” initiatives that were a key driver in Hardee’s operations turnaround.



Brad Haley was promoted to Chief Marketing Officer for CKE Restaurants, Inc. in 2011. He joined CKE as executive vice president of marketing for Hardee’s in 2000 and added the responsibility for Carl’s Jr. marketing in January 2004.

Haley leads all facets of marketing for CKE including Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brand positioning, advertising, product development, merchandising, sales analysis, marketing research, publicity, pricing, digital marketing and promotions. During his tenure at CKE, the brands have received numerous awards for both product innovation and advertising.

Before joining CKE, Haley’s experience included marketing stints in consumer packaged goods and at other quick-service restaurant concepts. While at Jack in the Box restaurants in the 1990s, Haley received the Brand Builder Award from Brandweek magazine for his work to help orchestrate the chain’s turnaround, following a devastating E. coli contaminated hamburger incident, with the launch of the “Jack’s Back” advertising campaign.

Haley received his bachelor’s degree in biology and master’s degree in business administration from Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, Calif.



E. Michael Murphy was appointed President and Chief Legal Officer of CKE Restaurants, Inc. in January 2009. He previously served as Chief Administrative Officer from 2006; and was named executive vice president, general counsel and Secretary of the Company in July 2000. He still serves as Secretary of the Company.

In his current position, Murphy leads the legal, human resources, payroll and information technology departments, as well as oversees all franchising and international endeavors for both the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands.

Mr. Murphy started with the Company in July 1998 when he was named senior vice president and general counsel of Hardee’s. Prior to his association with the Company, Mr. Murphy was a partner in the litigation department at The Stolar Partnership, a law firm in St. Louis, Missouri. Murphy is currently a member of the American Bar Association and the Missouri Bar Association.

He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Missouri and his law degree from St. Louis University.



Ned Lyerly was named President, International in June, 2014. As the company’s senior international executive, Lyerly leads the company’s international division and has been instrumental in its growth to 600+ restaurants in more than 30 countries.

Prior to his current role, Lyerly was the company’s Executive Vice President of International from June, 2012 to June, 2014. Previously he held the position of Executive Vice President of Global Franchise Development where he oversaw franchise development for the Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s brands in the United States and around the world. Over his 30 year career with CKE, Lyerly has held positions in many functional disciplines including: Senior Vice President International, Vice President International, Director - International Finance and Marketing, Director - Domestic Finance (Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc.), Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis (Imasco USA, Inc. / Hardee’s Food Systems, Inc.).

Lyerly is a Certified Franchise Executive and currently serves as a member of the International Franchise Association’s International Leadership Council. Lyerly received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.