Truett Cathy, 92, will be stepping down as CEO and chairman of Chick-fil-A, the company he founded in 1946 in Hapeville, Ga., and turned into a major national fast food chain.
Dan, his son, has been serving as president and chief operating officer and will replace him. Truett will remain at the company as chairman emeritus.
In the nearly seven decades since its founding, Chick-fil-A has spread to 39 states, with more than 1,700 locations. In 2012, the company reported annual sales of more than $4.6 billion.
The Cathy family's faith is deeply intertwined with the company they run Chick-fil-A is notoriously closed on Sunday; and its charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, has courted controversy with its past donations to "anti-gay" groups. In 2012, Dan said he was "guilty as charged" of supporting "biblical" family values.
According to the AJC, no formal ceremony is planned for the promotion, though it was announced internally on Wednesday.
Dan is ready to take Chick-fil-A into its next chapter of growth and stewardship," Truett said in a statement. "He has been a highly effective leader in the business and shares my commitment of being a faithful steward to all that has been entrusted to us."