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Peter R. Hearl was named the new president of Pizza Hut by the chain's parent company.

He replaces Michael Rawlings, 48, who resigned to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests, the company said.

Hearl, 51, is a 12-year veteran of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc., Pizza Hut's parent company.

Hearl was most recently executive vice president and chief people officer for Yum, which has 32,500 restaurants, including Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, KFC and Long John Silver's. Previously, Hearl oversaw Yum's international operations, which the company said is its largest profit driver.

Pizza Hut, based in Dallas, has been the strongest performer in Yum's stable recently. This month, the company reported that same-store sales rose 5 percent in the four weeks ended Nov. 2, compared to a 1 percent gain at Taco Bell and 7 percent decline at KFC.

Pizza Hut has more than 7,500 U.S. locations, sales of $5 billion and claims a 15 percent share of the pizza market.

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