Krispy Kreme Chief Financial Officer, Vice Chairman to Leave

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts said that Chief Financial Officer Michael Phalen will leave to return to investment banking and that Vice Chairman Robert Strickland is retiring from the board.

The company also named a new general counsel and said its board nominated two people with restaurant industry experience for election to the board at the upcoming June 4 annual meeting.

The changes come as Krispy Kreme works on its turnaround. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina, company went public in 2001 with a successful offering, but in recent years struggled with restatements, investigations into its past accounting and a decline in doughnut sales that sent some of its franchisees into bankruptcy.

Phalen will be replaced by Chief Accounting Officer Douglas Muir, effective June 5, the doughnut chain said. Phalen has been CFO since January 2004. Muir joined the company in December 2004.

Strickland's retirement will be effective immediately. He has served on Krispy Kreme's board for more than eight years and was elected vice chairman in 2005.

Krispy Kreme named Sandra Michel as its new general counsel, replacing Charles Blixt, who had served in the position on an interim basis since September. Michel was most recently general counsel and secretary at La Quinta.

Blixt will remain on the board and is being nominated for reelection at the annual meeting, the company said.

Krispy Kreme's board also nominated Lynn Crump-Caine and C. Stephen Lynn to the board for election at the annual meeting.

Crump-Caine is the chief executive officer of OutsideIn Consulting, a company she founded in 2004 after working at McDonald's for more than 30 years.

Lynn is chairman of branding services company Cummings, and was previously chairman and CEO of both Shoney's and Sonic .

Krispy Kreme shares traded just under $50 in 2003 and fell to less than $4 in 2005.