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.
While appointing new board members isn't anything significant in the restaurant industry, it could provide a much needed sea change at Red Robin, especially since it is fighting back an activist investor. Vintage Capital submitted an unsolicited offer to buy the casual chain and asked for the removal of five board members. New board members could appease the investor, especially if they prove to be more amendable to its demands. However, if the company doesn't find a suitable CEO soon, it could be treading water in increasingly choppy ocean of investors.
Check out additional leadership changes below:
Waitr: COO Adam Price has been promoted to CEO following the resignation of founder and CEO Chris Meaux, according to a press release. Meaux will remain as the company's chairman of the board. Price has been with Waitr since February, when he joined as chief logistics officer. He previously worked as CEO at Homer Logistics and held previous positions in business development and engineering at ATA Engineering.
California Pizza Kitchen: Scott Hargrove is the company's new EVP and global chief marketing officer, according to a press release. Hargrove, who joined the chain earlier this year, is leading marketing and growth efforts, including brand and performance marketing, culinary innovation, social media, loyalty, communications and community engagement. His role also includes driving growth through amplified brand building and digital-based marketing. Hargrove has over 20 years of experience and has held marketing positions at Snap Inc., The Coca-Cola Co. and World Surf League.
Red Robin: Tom G. Conforti, G.J. Hart and David A. Pace have been appointed independent directors, effective immediately, according to a press release. Pattye Moore, board chair and interim CEO will retire from the board after the company's CEO transition. Current board member Stuart Oran also decided not to stand for re-election. Conforti has over 30 years of experience in financial, strategic and operational roles across the restaurant, hospitality, retail and consumer segments. His experience includes leadership positions at Wyndham Worldwide, IHOP, The Walt Disney Company and KB Home. Hart has been a food and beverage executive for nearly 35 years, serving in leadership positions at Torchy's Tacos, California Pizza Kitchen, Texas Roadhouse and food-related companies. Pace has over 30 years of leadership experience and served in leadership positions at Jamba Juice, Carrabba's, Bloomin’ Brands, Starbucks and Yum Brands.
CKE Restaurants: The parent company to Carl’s Jr. and Hardee's hired Andrew Robinson as its Chief Human Resource Officer, reporting to CEO Ned Lyerly, according to a press release. In his new role, he will oversee human resources, assets protection and corporate facilities functions. He previously worked at Starr Restaurants, where he was responsible for the company’s growth strategy through building organizational capabilities and infrastructure. He also worked as TGI Fridays’ chief people and culture officer.
Taco Bell: Chief Global Brand Officer Marisa Thalberg has resigned from her position after four years. She will retain an advisory role to parent Yum Brands and her position currently will not be replaced. Her duties will be split between Melissa Freibe, SVP of marketing, and Tracee Larocca, SVP of advertising and brand engagement.