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California Pizza Kitchen hires new CEO from Texas Roadhouse

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When choosing its new chief executive, California Pizza Kitchen went for a taste of Texas-style steak by way of Kentucky.

The new boss of the Los Angeles-based casual dining company will be G.J. Hart – recently CEO of western-themed and Louisville-based chain Texas Roadhouse.

CPK said Thursday that Hart would replace co-founders Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax. The two former federal prosecutors launched the chain’s first restaurant in Beverly Hills in 1985.

Last month, CPK was acquired by San Francisco-based private equity firm Golden Gate Capital for $470 million. The company sells its food at more than 250 California Pizza Kitchen restaurants as well as in stadiums and the frozen food aisles of grocery stores.

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Hart, who had been with Texas Roadhouse for a decade, will be replaced there by W. Kent Taylor. Taylor will remain chairman of the company as well.

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-- Tiffany Hsu


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