MARYVILLE, TN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RT) today announced the Company has named James “Jim” F. Hyatt, II as President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Board of Directors, effective immediately. Mr. Hyatt brings more than forty years of leadership experience in the restaurant industry to these roles and will lead the Company as it continues exploring strategic alternatives as previously announced. Lane Cardwell, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, will remain a member of the Board of Directors.
“I am pleased to welcome Jim to Ruby Tuesday and our Board of Directors. As an industry veteran and proven leader, Jim brings to us a wealth of knowledge and experience including significant operating expertise in driving sales and profitability. His skillset will be valuable as we evaluate all strategic options and will not alter that process other than to add Jim’s expertise to the Board. Should the Board elect to remain an independent company following the review, Mr. Hyatt will remain in his role as CEO,” said Stephen Sadove, Non-Executive Chairman of Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Most recently, Mr. Hyatt served as Chief Executive Officer of Church’s Chicken from September 2011 through November 2016 and remains a member of the Company’s Board of Directors. During his tenure at Church’s Chicken, Mr. Hyatt implemented a multi-tiered strategy to revitalize the brand, centering on the total guest experience including a focus on product consistency, product innovation, speed of service, facility management, unit profitability and operator engagement along with rolling out a global re-image standard for the brand. Prior to Church’s Chicken, Mr. Hyatt held the role of President and Chief Executive Officer of Cosí from September 2007 through September 2011.
Prior to Cosí, Mr. Hyatt spent 35 years in the QSR category with 31 years at Burger King including 11 years as one of the most successful multi-unit franchisees. He was then recruited to join Burger King’s corporate executive team in Miami to support a brand turnaround in 2002 with new private equity owners. As Executive Vice President and Chief Global Operations Officer, Mr. Hyatt was responsible for the performance of 13,000 restaurants and the global franchisee community in over 65 countries. Through the design and execution of five financial and operational platforms that helped galvanize the franchise community behind its brand goals and visions of the future, Mr. Hyatt helped Burger King achieve a successful public offering on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 2006. Mr. Hyatt also served as Director of Operations for Hardee's Restaurants Inc. from 1986 to 1990.
“Ruby Tuesday is an iconic American brand, set apart within the casual dining industry by its unique Garden Bar. I have been both a fan and customer of the brand for many years and I look forward to working with the Board and senior management as we lead the Company through its next chapter,” said Mr. Hyatt.
Mr. Sadove continued, “On behalf of the Board and the entire organization, I’d like to thank Lane for his dedication and commitment to Ruby Tuesday during his period as interim CEO. We appreciate his leadership and look forward to his continued role as a member of the Board.”
About Ruby Tuesday, Inc.
Ruby Tuesday, Inc. owns and franchises Ruby Tuesday brand restaurants. As of February 28, 2017, there were 607 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 41 states, 14 foreign countries, and Guam. Of those restaurants, we owned and operated 544 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and franchised 63 Ruby Tuesday restaurants, comprised of 17 domestic and 46 international restaurants. Our Company-owned and operated restaurants are concentrated primarily in the Southeast, Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest of the United States, which we consider to be our core markets. For more information about Ruby Tuesday, please visit www.rubytuesday.com. Ruby Tuesday, Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (Symbol: RT).