Sonic Corp., the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, named a new president and chief operating officer which will allow its CEO to focus on system expansion and brand development strategies, the company said on Friday.

Chairman and Chief Executive Clifford Hudson, 53 years old, will transfer his president's title to Scott McLain, currently president of Sonic's franchising unit.

Mr. McLain, 45, will be responsible for marketing, information technology, purchasing, development, franchise human resources and corporate communications.

The Oklahoma City, drive-in restaurant chain said McLain will maintain his role as president of the company's franchising unit and will replace Clifford Hudson, who will continue to serve as chairman and as CEO.

The appointment is effective May 1, the company said.

Mike Perry is the former president of Sonic's operating unit and will oversee all the company's restaurant operations. Perry will be replaced by Eddie Saroch, who is currently responsible for franchise services. That role will now be filled by Sharon Strickland.