San Francisco’s Golden Gate Capital has appointed a new chief executive of Playa Vista’s California Pizza Kitchen, the companies announced today.

Jim Hyatt, the former chief executive of Maryville, Tenn.’s Ruby Tuesday’s, has replaced G.J. Hart in the top role. Hart has served in the role since July 2011, a month after the chain closed on its sale to Golden Gate Capital. He succeeded the chain’s co-founders, Rick Rosenfield and Larry Flax.

The press release said that Hyatt’s appointment followed Hart’s recent retirement, which had not been publicly announced. A spokesperson for the company said Hart worked closely with the CPK board on the search for a new replacement CEO.

Hyatt also previously served as chief executive of Church’s Chicken and Così Inc., as well as global chief operating officer for Burger King.

Retail, restaurants and hospitality reporter Caroline Anderson can be reached at

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