Shift Change: Kona Grill, Red Robin CEOs depart
This Restaurant Dive series highlights the latest executive changes across multiple chains as they plan their growth strategies for the year.
This is the latest installment in a series that highlights major executive changes at top fast casual, QSR and casual dining chains over the past week.
Major leadership changes occurred at some big regional and national chains this week, with Vitality Bowls gaining a new COO, Kona Grill's CEO stepping down amid ongoing troubles and Red Robin's CEO Denny Marie Post retiring. These changes could have far-reaching implications on respective company strategies for the rest of the year.
Check out the latest restaurant executive changes below:
Vitality Bowls: Dave Malinowski has become chief operating officer of the super food chain. He previously served as COO at Liquiteria and has also worked as the director of operations at Swallow Restaurant.
Kona Grill: CEO Marcus Jundt, executive chairman Berke Bakay and director Alex Nanyan Zheng have left their positions at the company, according to an SEC filing. Shawn Hassell, a managing partner of Bestige Holdings, has been appointed to the board as director. The company also retained Piper Jaffray as its financial advisor to assist in exploring and evaluating various strategies to increase shareholder value, including a sale and financing transactions.
Bojangles': Jackie Woodward has been named chief marketing officer and will start April 8. She has more than 30 years of marketing experience and most recently served as global chief marketing officer at Krispy Kreme. She has also worked at General Mills and MillerCoors and McDonald’s. She will be responsible for all aspects of brand growth.
Little Caesars: Jeff Klein has been hired as senior vice president of global marketing. He has nearly 20 years in marketing leadership and most recently served at PepsiCo. He also has worked at Frito-Lay North America.
Red Robin: After eight years as CEO, Denny Marie Post has retired from the company. Pattye Moore, board chair, has stepped in as interim CEO. Post will serve as an adviser while a search committee looks for a new CEO.
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