Thanks to a several of controversies Andy Puzder was unable to secure his new job as Secretary of Labor; instead, Trump’s initial pick for the position decided to withdraw his name before having to face even more scrutiny at a confirmation hearing. Now, Puzder has said he won’t be returning to his old job either: The CEO of CKE Restaurants Holdings – parent company of Carl’s Jr, Hardee’s, Red Burrito and Green Burrito – has announced he’ll be stepping down from the position he’s held atop the fast food giant since 2000.
In a press release from CKE yesterday, Puzder insinuated that the move had little to his upended Labor Secretary nomination. “I expressed my desire to have CKE plan for succession approximately a year ago,” the CEO is quoted as saying. However, the Los Angeles Times spoke to one industry vet who believes the controversial nominee was definitely done in by his dredged up past. “[CKE is] concerned about their perception,” Jeff McNeal, president of restaurant and hospitality consulting firm Fessel International, told the Times. “I don’t think this is anything about the financial performance of the company. It was his failed nomination.” The truth may lie somewhere in the middle: Some sort of succession plan was likely in the works in case Puzder did get confirmed as Secretary of Labor, but this almost certainly isn’t the way he wanted things to pan out.
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Concerns over Puzder covered a gamut of issues from business – as CEO of a fast food chain he often butted heads with his own labor force and the chain was even accused of violating labor laws itself – to the personal – an illegally hired housekeeper and decades-old, recanted accusations of spousal abuse. In the end, he was forced to withdraw his name from the nomination last month when it because clear he didn’t quite have enough Republican support to be confirmed.