In a historic move, Charlotte-based fast-food chain Bojangles has announced the company has appointed Monica Sauls as Chief People Officer, making her the first Black person to serve in a senior-level position in the company’s 43-year history, Black Business reports.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Sauls has a background with 20 years of experience in leading human resources for companies like Duke Energy’s Fossil Hydro and Nuclear divisions, Boeing Co., Walgreens, and Ingersoll Rand.
She also has a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as well as a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.
“I’m excited to join the Bojangles family and look forward to serving as a key strategic partner to Jose and his leadership team,” Sauls said in a statement. “As the Chief People Officer, I will focus on building and maintaining a people-centered culture where everyone at Bojangles can do their best work and help the company succeed.”
She will also lead talent acquisition, talent development, employee relations, diversity and inclusion, and culture stewardship, while reporting directly to the CEO, according to Black Business.
“At Bojangles, our strength is our people, so we’re delighted to have Monica’s experience and expertise on our leadership team to help nurture our most important asset,” said Bojangles CEO Jose Armario in a press statement. “This is a critical new role as the Bojangles system looks to hire more than 30,000 new employees due to expected growth and demand over the next 12 months and build on our commitment to diversity and inclusion to create a culture where all employees are respected and valued.”
Sauls is set to replace Vickie Smith — senior vice president of human resources — according to a news release, who is retiring after more than 25 years with the company.