In a move that supports the chain’s international growth aspirations, California Pizza Kitchen appointed Giorgio Minardi to serve as executive vice president of global development and franchise operations. Minardi will lead the development of CPK’s international and domestic franchise business.

Giorgio MinardiCPKGiorgio MinardiHis immediate focus will center on the chain’s growth strategy outside the U.S., including such Asian markets as Hong Kong, South Korea, Singapore, Japan and Malaysia. Expansion in the Middle East, Australia and Europe will be additional areas of focus starting in 2020, per a company release.

Minardi brings more than 35 years of global restaurant business experience to CPK, most recently serving as the international president at Madrid-based Telepizza Group. Minardi also held international leadership roles for such restaurant chains as Dunkin’ Brands, Burger King and McDonald’s.

CPK has 40 international franchise locations in 10 countries, as well as 16 domestic franchise locations in airports, casinos and other nontraditional restaurant locations throughout the United States.