January 19, 2023
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Editorial: Carl’s Jr. chief keeps jobs debate cooking


Remarks by CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder at California State University Channel Islands provided a welcome clearing of the air about the potential loss of a South Coast corporate headquarters.

In response to a question from the Business Times, Puzder made it clear that at least until its lease is up in 2015, the parent company of Carl’s Jr. was staying put in Carpinteria. Puzder set off a media firestorm earlier this year when he met with Texas Gov. Rick Perry about a possible headquarters move to the Lone Star State. (See related story here.)

And in subsequent comments, Puzder has unabashedly stated how much easier it is to grow and operate in Texas than it is in California. For starters, Texas has no state income tax and its tax burden is lower than California’s for employers and corporations.

In addition, many cities in Texas don’t have the thicket of planning, development and environmental rules and regulations that are a legal heaven for those trying to stop development. It is faster, easier and far less expensive to obtain building permits in Texas than it is just about anyplace in the Tri-Counties.

Finally, California’s job classification rules force managers to be paid on an hourly, not salaried basis, something that costs money but also destroys some of the prestige of a manager’s position.

But, in the end, none of these was enough to overcome the enthusiasm of CKE’s employees for living and working in Carpinteria. Or the cost hurdles imposed by the company’s office lease on the South Coast.

We’ve known that a move wasn’t imminent for some time. But we’re happy that Puzder cleared the air for CKE’s employees, its suppliers and our communities. We know he’s been working with Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom on making California a more competitive place to do business.We’d encourage his efforts and lend our support to engaging our communities on ways to create more jobs and more paths to entrepreneurial success within the limits of our geography and our communities’ identities.