California Pizza hires Hart as president, c.e.o.

by Eric Schroeder
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LOS ANGELES — G.J. Hart has been named president, chief executive officer and executive chairman at California Pizza Kitchen, Inc. He will succeed Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax, California Pizza’s co-founders. Golden Gate Capital acquired California Pizza on July 7.

Mr. Hart most recently was c.e.o. of Texas Roadhouse, a publicly-traded casual dining company that owns, operates and franchises more than 350 restaurants across the country.

“The Company has been actively engaged in a c.e.o. search and, with the sale to Golden Gate Capital complete, this is the right time to bring in a new c.e.o. with the operational and strategic expertise to take CPK to the next level of performance,” said Mr. Rosenfield and Mr. Flax. “In G.J., we have found a talented leader with demonstrated success in building one of the most popular and respected casual dining brands through employee loyalty and a focus on delivering a superior dining experience for consumers. His leadership skills and entrepreneurial drive, combined with CPK’s reputation of delivering delicious, innovative food and excellent service, position the company for continued success.”

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