Fresh out of bankruptcy, California Pizza Kitchen Inc. appointed four board members to lead the fast-casual restaurant chain along with Chief Executive Jim Hyatt.

The newcomers are Robert Webster, co-founder and senior managing director of Sawtelle-based Twin Haven Capital Partners; Jeff Warne, principal at Croesus Capital; Michael O’Donnell, board member at Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.; and Daniel Kokini, managing director at FTI Consulting.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Robert, Jeff, Michael and Daniel to the board as we continue to build on our business momentum following our successful restructuring in November,” Hyatt said in a statement. “Their combined know-ledge and expertise in the food and hospitality business, corporate finance, and investment strategy strengthen CPK and will help us accelerate our growth plans.”

The Redondo Beach-based chain filed for Chapter 11 protection on July 29 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas, citing liquidity issues and state-mandated closures of indoor dining that represented about 78% of its net sales.

CPK’s creditors, led by Sawtelle-based Crescent Capital Group, agreed to convert more than half of the company’s debt into equity, reducing its long-term obligations from approximately $403 million to $174 million. The deal also included $46.8 million in new financing to support ongoing operations. The company now operates 155 restaurants and has 7,500 workers, about 75% of whom are back at work.

Webster has served on or chaired 16 corporate boards across an array of industries, including companies engaged in the casual and family dining restaurant sectors, according to CPK.

Warne was chief executive at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery, Marie Callender’s Inc. and O’Charley’s Inc., and also served as president of Pick Up Stix and as chief operating officer at TGI Friday’s International.

O’Donnell served for 10 years as chief executive of Ruth’s Hospitality. He recently stepped down as executive chairman but retained a seat on the board of directors.

Kokini meanwhile has nearly 15 years of restructuring, leveraged finance, capital markets, and mergers and acquisition experience.

In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 979, which requires publicly traded companies headquartered in the state to include board members from underrepresented communities, defined “as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, Native Hawaiian, or Alaska Native, or who selfidentifies as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.”

CPK as a privately held company did not have to comply with the new law.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.