(New York, NY) – President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, as Secretary of the Department of Labor.
"Andy Puzder has created and boosted the careers of thousands of Americans, and his extensive record fighting for workers makes him the ideal candidate to lead the Department of Labor," said President-elect Trump. "Andy will fight to make American workers safer and more prosperous by enforcing fair occupational safety standards and ensuring workers receive the benefits they deserve, and he will save small businesses from the crushing burdens of unnecessary regulations that are stunting job growth and suppressing wages."
"I am honored to be nominated by President-elect Trump for Secretary of Labor. I look forward to the opportunity to help President-elect Trump restore America's global economic leadership," said Mr. Puzder. "The President-elect believes, as do I, that the right government policies can result in more jobs and better wages for the American worker. I'm proud to be offered the chance to serve in his Administration."
"I congratulate Andy Puzder on his nomination by President-elect Trump to serve our nation as Secretary of Labor. As someone who has worked with CKE for more than three decades – from a restaurant crew member, to my current position as COO – I have personally witnessed the leadership Andy has demonstrated since he became CEO in 2000. He has always led CKE as an entrepreneurial company maintaining a focus on hard work and motivation instead of bureaucracy and red tape. Andy is someone who understands workers, their motivation, and what employees need in terms of job fulfillment and opportunities. Andy's leadership has provided growth opportunities for employees throughout our entire organization and I know he will be steadfast in promoting the welfare and success of all hard working American citizens in this new role," said Eric Williams, Chief Operating Officer of CKE Restaurants Holdings, Inc.
"Andy Puzder's nomination as Secretary of Labor has given me even more faith in President-elect Trump's commitment to leading America back to prosperity. I have seen numerous positive character traits in Andy while working with him at Carl's Jr. as a restaurant owner and franchisee for the past 13 years: he is solid on his word, sincere in his approach, and very driven to overcome whatever challenges may come his way. He sincerely cares as much about our cashiers as he does about the restaurant owners. His foresight, vision and desire for fairness will help make nationwide economic prosperity an achievable destination. His work ethic has been an inspiration to all of us who have worked along side of him, and it has been a pleasure to learn from the best of the best. I know he is going to do an outstanding job as President-elect Trump's Secretary of Labor," said Troi Martin Wierdsma, Carl's Jr. Owner.
"Andy is an exceptional choice to lead the Labor Department due to his business experience and policy acumen on so many issues impacting employers and employees in today's economy. Andy would also be able to champion how the franchise business model, which generates a higher percentage of new jobs in the economy than non-franchises, are a key part of the solution to wage growth and upward mobility that so many voters are looking for out of policymakers in Washington," said Robert Cresanti, President & CEO of the International Franchise Association.
"Mr. Puzder would provide welcome relief for the small business community that has had to endure years of regulatory assault. He is someone who deeply understands the regulatory burden facing job creators because it is one that he lives with every day running two of the nation's most popular restaurant franchises," said Alfredo Ortiz, President, Job Creators Network in the Daily Caller.
Andy Puzder was raised in a working class community in Cleveland, Ohio. Son of a car salesman, Andy earned his way through school while supporting his family by working in construction, landscaping and painting houses. He earned a bachelor's degree from Cleveland State University, becoming the first in his family to graduate from college, and a law degree at Washington University.
From 1978 through 1991, Mr. Puzder was a trial lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri, before entering private practice in California. In 1995, Mr. Puzder served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Fidelity National Financial Inc., managing one of the largest corporate legal departments in the country.
In 1997, Mr. Puzder was named Executive Vice President and General Counsel for CKE Restaurants, and in 2000, Mr. Puzder became president and CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc. Puzder is credited with turning around both the Hardee's brand and CKE, allowing the company to survive. It is now a quick-service food organization that owns or franchises more than 3,750 restaurants in the United States and around the world, generates $1.4 billion in annual revenue and, with its franchises, employs more than 75,000 people in the U.S.
In 2010, Mr. Puzder co-wrote the book Job Creation: How It Really Works and Why Government Doesn't Understand It, in which he helped provide a framework for instilling strong optimism among U.S. businesses that will create millions of new jobs.