- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 22, 2017

President Donald Trump’s former labor secretary nominee, Andy Puzder, is stepping down as CEO of CKE Restaurants, the parent company of the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast food chains.

CKE announced in a press release Tuesday that Jason Marker, former president of Kentucky Fried Chicken U.S., has been selected as the company’s new chief executive officer.

“Jason has tremendous experience in franchising, in the [Quick Service Restaurants] sector, and in positioning and growing iconic brands,” Mr. Puzder, who has served as CKE’s CEO since 2000, said in a statement.

“I expressed my desire to have CKE plan for succession approximately a year ago, and I could not be more pleased to have Jason Marker selected to be the company’s next leader,” he said. “He is an outstanding executive who will continue to build the Hardees and Carl’s Jr. brands both internationally and domestically.”

Mr. Puzder withdrew himself from consideration for labor secretary mid-February amid bipartisan opposition due to allegations of spousal abuse and hiring an illegal immigrant to clean his house.

After Mr. Puzder’s withdrawal, Mr. Trump chose Alex Acosta to be his replacement nominee. If confirmed, the Republican labor attorney will be the first Hispanic member of the president’s Cabinet, NBC News reported.

Mr. Marker, who served for three years as KFC’s president until he stepped down this week, is expected to start as CKE’s CEO next month.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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