Krystal chain gets new CEO in Atlanta acquisition

Doug Pendergast, a 12-year veteran of the restaurant industry, replaces James Fred Exum Jr. as CEO of the iconic brand, the company said Wednesday.

Krystal's executive board also named Al Ryan vice president of operations and Partha Mukherjee as chief information officer.

“I am delighted to be part of a company with both a deep history and strong growth potential,” Pendergast said in a release. “The leadership team and investors deserve tremendous credit for stabilizing the company and building a sound foundation for expansion.”

Argonne Capital Group, the Atlanta firm, announced March 22 that it had purchased The Krystal Company for an undisclosed amount. Company operations remain at Krystal headquarters in Chattanooga.

Prior to joining Krystal, Pendergast was chief development & franchising officer at Chattanooga-based CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries. He also has been chief franchise officer and executive vice president at Atlanta-based Church’s Chicken.

Ryan most recently was vice president of international operations for Church’s Chicken. Before Church's, he was director of operations for Domino’s Pizza.

Mukherjee served as chief information officer for Church’s before moving to Krystal.

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