Doug Brooks, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President
Brinker International, Inc. (
recently announced his intention to step down from the post
effective December 31, 2012. Concurrently, the company also
announced Wyman Roberts as his successor, who will take over the
reins effectively from January 1, 2013.
Doug Brooks joined Brinker 35 years ago as a manager. His
tenure oversaw the increase from a modest three restaurants in
one state to 1,585 restaurants globally, generating around $2.8
billion of revenue annually. To ensure a successful transition of
leadership to Roberts, Brooks will continue to serve as chairman
of the board of the company through December 2013.
Wyman Roberts has been associated with Brinker since August
2005. Currently, he is the President of Brinker's brand Chili's
Grill & Bar. However, he will retain this position along with
the new responsibilities. He has previously served Brinker as
Chief Marketing Officer and President of Maggiano's Little Italy
Prior to joining Brinker, Roberts served NBC's Universal Parks
& Resorts - a subsidiary of
General Electric Company (
Comcast Corporation (
, as Executive VP and CMO and contributed to growth of the
company's market share and revenues. Apart from this, he has held
several senior level positions over 17 years at Brinker's peer
Darden Restaurants Inc. (
With his vast know-how and expertise over 20 years in the
restaurant industry, Roberts can easily be tagged as a veteran in
this sector. With proven strategy development, operation,
finance and brand building background, we expect him to provide
meaningful support to Brinker. Roberts' contribution to growth of
Chili's Grill & Bar has been noteworthy. Total sales at
Chili's Grill & Bar restaurant surged 2.7% year over year in
the most recent quarter and comparable restaurant sales at the
brand climbed up 2.8% for the sixth consecutive quarter.
As a point of reference, several restaurant peers of Brinker have
recently seen significant management changes. The founder and CEO
Ruby Tuesday Inc. (
, Sandy Beall, announced his intention to bow out from management
and the Board. In addition,
Jack in the Box Inc. (
also announced the retirement of President and CEO, Gary J.
Beisler, of one of its subsidiaries.
Brinker recently reported first-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings of
37 cents per share, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a
penny, but increasing 23.3% from the year-ago quarter earnings of
30 cents per share. At the end of the quarter, Brinker operated
1,585 restaurants, of which 1,274 were Chili's, 44 were
Maggiano's and 267 were international franchised restaurants.
We currently have long-term 'Outperform' recommendation on
Brinker. It carries a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).
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