Greenwood Village / CO. (rrgb) Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc., a full-service restaurant chain serving an innovative selection of high-quality gourmet burgers in a family-friendly atmosphere, announced that G.J. Hart will become the Company’s new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective September 06, 2022. A member of the Red Robin Board since August 2019, Hart will continue to serve as a member of the Board in addition to his roles as CEO and President.
Hart will succeed current President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Murphy, who recently informed the Red Robin Board of Directors that he intends to retire at the end of 2022 when his employment agreement expires. Murphy will remain as a special advisor to the Company until March 31, 2023, to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
Hart most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Torchy’s Tacos from 2018 until 2021, a privately-held fast-casual concept with more than 100 locations. Prior to that, he was the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of California Pizza Kitchen from 2011 to 2018. From 2000 to 2004, Hart served as President of Texas Roadhouse Holdings, and later from 2004 to 2011 he held additional responsibilities as Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Texas Roadhouse Board. Earlier in his career, Hart held additional leadership positions at Al Copeland Investments, TriFoods International, New Zealand Lamb Company, and Shenandoah Valley Poultry, among others.
A highly regarded executive with nearly 35 years in the restaurant industry, including both public and private company experience, Hart is well known for his organizational leadership skills, commitment to profitable growth, and ability to drive long term shareholder value.
Hart stated, «While I have long admired Red Robin as an organization and brand, since joining the Board I have gained a heightened appreciation for the culture, values and brand equities that have made Red Robin so iconic for more than fifty years while recognizing its go-forward potential. I am eager to begin working with the team in this new capacity to strengthen the Company’s foundation, execute on our strategic priorities, and continue our collective efforts to create value for shareholders.»
Dave Pace, Red Robin Board Chair, commented, «G.J. brings an exceptional track record of success to this role and we are excited to have him as our next leader for Red Robin. During the past 3 years, G.J. has distinguished himself as a thoughtful and effective Board member in supporting Paul and the Red Robin team as they navigated an exceptionally tumultuous period in our industry’s history. As we began our search for Paul’s successor following his announced retirement at the end of this year, G.J. expressed interest in the role and we quickly determined that he possesses all of the critical skills that we are looking for in Red Robin’s next leader. We are highly confident that he has the vision, passion, and expertise to successfully lead Red Robin into the future. Once again, I want to thank Paul Murphy for his leadership over the past 3 years and appreciate his support in facilitating G.J.’s transition.»