Famous Dave's of America Inc.
) revealed that it has appointed John Gilbert III as the chief
executive officer (CEO) with immediate effect. Gilbert replaced
Christopher O'Donnell, who will continue with the company as the
president and chief operating officer (COO).
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Former CEO, O'Donnell has been serving the company for 15 years and
had assumed the position of a CEO in 2008 after the six-month
tenure of then-CEO Wilson Craft. However, the new CEO, Gilbert has
been a board member in Famous Dave for a year. Additionally, he is
a board member at Ignite Restaurant Group, the parent company of
Joe's Crab Shack.
Gilbert has donned many important roles in his illustrious career.
Previously, he was the president and CEO at Vermont Teddy Bear - a
renowned eCommerce retailer - from 2008. Prior to that, he held the
post of the chief marketing officer at
The TJX Companies Inc.
) - the world's largest off-price retailer.
With his rich 20 years of experience in the restaurant industry,
Gilbert can easily be tagged as a veteran of that sector. A number
of leadership positions held at
Dunkin' Brands Group Inc.
), coupled with an enriching experience with
Yum! Brands Inc.
) KFC and TGI Friday's restaurants also vouch for his expertise.
Considering Gilbert's vast know-how about leading retailers and
restaurateurs, we expect him to provide meaningful support to
Famous Dave's, going forward. Gilbert himself believes that there
is immense long-term potential within this barbecue chain.
However, an element of uncertainty will linger till we find some
concrete evidence of better brand positioning at the company.
Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Famous Dave's ownd 53 locations and
franchised 133 additional units in 35 states, at the end of the
second quarter. Famous Dave's currently carries a Zacks #3 Rank,
implying a short-term Hold rating on the stock. We are maintaining
our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.