Cliff Hudson will retire from his role as chairman and chief executive officer for SONIC Corp. once Inspire Brands’ deal to buy the drive-in chain closes. Claudia San Pedro, president of SONIC, will lead the company upon Hudson’s retirement and will become part of the Inspire executive team.
Hudson will serve as a senior advisor to SONIC until March 2019.
Hudson is a 34-year veteran of SONIC, joining as assistant general counsel in 1984. He was appointed CEO in 1995. Only SONIC’s founder, Troy Smith Sr., led the company for a longer period of time.
San Pedro was named president of SONIC in January 2018 and has served in various leadership roles at the company throughout her 12-year tenure.