Rick Caruso, CEO of nationwide diversified real estate company Caruso Affiliated Holdings, has been elected to fill the vacancy on the California Pizza Kitchen Board of Directors.

Los Angeles based California Pizza Kitchen, founded in 1985, is a leading casual dining chain specializing in premium pizzas, pastas and salads. The chain operates, licenses or franchises 131 restaurants of which 99 are company owned, and 32 operate under franchise or license agreements.

Rick Caruso founded Caruso Affiliated Holdings in 1980. and under his direction the firm expanded from a real estate investment company into a company specializing in acquisition, development and management of commercial real estate. It has an ownership portfolio of more than 35 commercial and retail properties throughout the US. 

Fred Hipp, President and CEO of California Pizza Kitchen, commented: “We are delighted to have such a prominent corporate executive and community leader on our team.

“He brings vast retail and real estate experience to our Board.”