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ATLANTA -- One day after Terry Marks signaled that his leadership at The Pantry Inc. was coming to an end, news emerged today that he will take over the role of CEO at Hooters of America LLC (HOA) this fall.
As CSNews Online reported yesterday morning, Marks tendered his resignation as CEO of the Cary, N.C.-based operator of the Kangaroo Express convenience store chain. He said his decision was fueled by his desire to be closer to his family and that he had accepted a position in his hometown of Atlanta.
Much speculation swirled around where he would end up, including the possibility that he was going back to beverage giant Coca-Cola, where was previously employed before moving to The Pantry.
However, in a news release this morning, the parent company of Hooters restaurants announced Marks would be taking the reins after he steps down from the c-store operator. HOA was acquired in January by a consortium of private investors including H.I.G. Capital, KarpReilly and Chanticleer Holdings from the estate of Robert H. Brooks. Marks will succeed Coby Brooks, president and CEO of the company since 2003. Brooks is the son of the late Brooks.
"I am thrilled to be returning to Atlanta and am very excited to be joining the Hooters team," Marks said in a statement. "Throughout my career, I have been privileged to experience both the power of world-class brands and the excitement of nurturing the development of lesser-known ones. The opportunity to contribute to the growth of a great brand like Hooters is extremely energizing to me. In just a little over two decades, Hooters has become known around the world for great American food, a fun environment and of course the iconic Hooters Girls. This record of success is a credit to all those who have contributed to the development of the brand, and I look forward to working with the Hooters team as we lead the company into its next phase of growth."
In addition to his two-year role at The Pantry, Marks brings with him 21 years at Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) where he held sales, operations, finance and general management roles before being promoted to president of CCE North America.
No specific start date has been announced, but Marks will move to HOA after a 60-day transitional period at The Pantry, which would put a start date somewhere in mid-October.
"Terry brings with him the accumulated experience from a long and successful career capitalizing on the power of brands," added Tim Armstrong, director of HOA and managing director of H.I.G. Capital. "Hooters has come tremendously far since 1983. Terry brings the operational and strategic expertise to take the brand to a whole new level of performance."