Casual dining chain Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT: Quote) said Wednesday that its founder, chairman, chief executive officer and president, Sandy Beall, plans to step down from management and the board after 40 years with the company.
The Maryville, Tennessee-based company said its board has formed a committee to oversee the succession process and to identify the next chief executive officer.
The committee plans to hire an executive search firm and begin a search process immediately, the company said.
Beall will stay on as chairman, CEO and president until a successor is named.
"After 40 years with Ruby Tuesday, I look forward to taking some time off and to pursuing personal ventures," said Beall. "We have plans in place to strengthen the Ruby Tuesday brand, grow our emerging brands, and have a capital structure that allows our team to execute on our plans to create value for our shareholders.
Beall opened the first Ruby Tuesday restaurant in 1972 in Knoxville, Tennessee near the campus of the University of Tennessee. Today, the company owns and operates 740 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and franchises 85 restaurants. The company also owns and operates the fast-casual dining concept Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and the casual dining concept Marlin & Ray's.
In April, Ruby Tuesday reported a 72% drop in third quarter profit, hurt mainly by one-time charges related to planned closure of under-performing restaurants as well as higher payroll expenses. Results were also impacted by shoddy same-store results that led to a lower-than-expected sales growth. The company also cut its full year earnings outlook.
Ruby Tuesday shares, which have traded in a range of $6.35 to $11.33 over the past year, closed Wednesday's regular trading session at $6.89, up 9 cents or 1.32%.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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