BurgerFi International Inc., owner of leading fast-casual brand BurgerFi and the casual dining pizza brand Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza & Wings, is announcing a change in senior leadership as Christopher Jones will be joining as Chief Financial Officer on July 10, 2023. Mr. Jones is replacing the current Chief Financial Officer Mike Rabinovitch, who is transitioning to Lionheart Capital as a Senior Advisor. Lionheart Capital along with its founder and the Company’s Executive Chairman Ophir Sternberg, is the Company’s largest shareholder. Mr. Rabinovitch will remain in his role as company Chief Financial Officer until July 10, 2023 and is then expected to remain with the Company and assist in the transition with Mr. Jones until July 31, 2023 or earlier if agreed to between the Company and Mr. Rabinovitch.
“Mike has been an instrumental part of BurgerFi’s story. We have benefitted from his unwavering commitment and leadership these past few years and we are grateful for the strong foundation he leaves behind,” says Ophir Sternberg, Executive Chairman of BurgerFi International Inc. and Founder & CEO of Lionheart Capital. “I want to thank him for his partnership and willingness to support a seamless transition with Chris before becoming a Senior Advisor with Lionheart Capital.”
Chris Jones currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Odyssey Marine Exploration (Nasdaq: OMEX) in Tampa, Florida. As Chief Financial Officer, Mr. Jones helps lead the transformation of OMEX from a deep-water wreck exploration and recovery company to a critical mineral exploration company. In addition, he has restructured OMEX’s capital, developed and implemented new rigorous controls and protocols within the financing and accounting team, including the implementation of a new ERP system and SEC reporting structure, and represented the company at various investment conferences, investor meetings, and sell-side research queries.
Prior to OMEX, Jones served as Vice President of Corporate Finance and Development for Mohegan (f/k/a Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment). The New York-based company is the premier tribal gaming & resort operator with five developments in the United States, two in Canada, and one in South Korea. In this role, Jones spearheaded Mohegan’s corporate finance, investor relations, and international financial development.
Mr. Jones also cultivated his knowledge in finance on Wall Street, where he gained extensive experience working with publicly traded companies. For more than 17 years, he specialized in equity research and served as an analyst for various organizations including The Buckingham Group, Jefferies Asset Management, Lehman Brothers, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc., Telsey Advisory Group, and Union Gaming Securities. He also served as Assistant Vice President for Merrill Lynch from 2002-2004. Early in his career, Jones served in operations when he was Manager of Store Operations for Saks Fifth Avenue.
Jones holds a Bachelor of Science from Boston University - School of Management, where he majored in both Accounting and Finance.
“Chris has earned extensive equity analyst experience for both investors and companies from his years of working on Wall Street. This sensitivity to shareholder needs balanced with his corporate finance experience will be particularly valuable as we work toward our next phase of growth in capital markets and other future endeavors,” says Ophir Sternberg.
“I am excited to join BurgerFi as we look to explore all potential solutions to drive stakeholder returns including a sharp focus on improved productivity and returns from existing company and franchise locations, while also considering potential accretive acquisitions,” Mr. Jones says. “Working side by side with the new CEO and board of directors, I look forward to reinvigorating our stakeholder communications with investors as well as franchisees.”