Monica Sauls. Photo courtesy of Bojangles

Bojangles, Inc. has named leading human resources and change management strategist Monica Sauls as its first chief people officer, effective Sept. 15. She joins Bojangles following the retirement of Vickie Smith, senior vice president of human resources. She will be the first African American to serve on Bojangles’ senior leadership team in the company’s 43-year history.

As chief people officer, a newly defined position, Sauls will drive company culture. Reporting directly to CEO Jose Armario, Sauls will lead talent acquisition, talent development, employee relations, diversity and inclusion and culture stewardship. She explained that her focus will be on building and maintaining “a people-centered culture.”

“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,” Armario said in a statement.

Sauls brings two decades of experience leading human resources and culture transformations within large, complex global organizations. Most recently, she led a team of field HR business partners for Duke Energy’s fossil hydro and nuclear divisions. Before Duke Energy, Sauls was responsible for senior executive and leadership development strategies at the Boeing Company. She has also served in key human resources and talent management leadership roles for Walgreens and Ingersoll Rand.

“I’m excited to join the Bojangles family and look forward to serving as a key strategic partner to Jose and his leadership team,” she said.

Founded in Charlotte in 1977, Bojangles currently has approximately 750 system-wide restaurants in 11 states. Thirty-three Bojangles locations are in Charlotte, including two at Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

“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,” Armario said.

Sauls holds a master’s degree in human resources and industrial relations from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

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