Zaxby’s promotes Michelle Morgan to role of chief people officer

Twenty-year company veteran ascends to first CPO role in brand’s history

Chicken QSR Zaxby’s promoted Michelle Morgan chief people officer (CPO), the first to serve in the newly-created role. As the chain seeks to elevate its “People First” culture and brand, the appointment seems timely. Zaxby’s is looking to strengthen internal guidance around its core values. As such, Morgan’s appointment to a position created for the first time in 32 years will support these imperatives.

Most recently, Morgan served as executive vice president of culture & brand experience at Zaxby’s. Her career at Zaxby’s, spanning over two decades, is a testament to the opportunities within the company. She started as a front-line store cashier and took on various leadership roles in operations and human resources.

Notably, Morgan was instrumental in developing and implementing key standards to move the brand forward as a people-first organization. She implemented these standards, advancing diversity and inclusion, talent development, corporate citizenship, and guest service.

“Our values reinforce our everyday leadership behaviors, which are ultimately aimed to enrich lives,” said Bernard Acoca, chief executive of Zaxby’s. “Michelle is a strong servant leader who will continue to work consistently to strengthen our foundational commitment to put our team members and franchisees first. Her long history with Zaxby’s gives her a unique vantage point on people-related issues.”


As chief people officer, Morgan will optimize recruitment, performance and professional development as well as elevate and reinforce Zaxby’s culture. Consequently, she will align “the mission with values, decisions and commitments,” announced the Athens, Ga.-based restaurant company.

Reflecting on her promotion, Morgan commented, “Zaxby’s has the talent, the drive, and the vision to provide incredible opportunities for employees, franchisees, and communities across the country. I am excited to lead the employee experience and ensure that we continue to ‘enrich lives’ through our support center, in the restaurants, through the guest experience and into the communities we serve.”


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