O’Charley’s Inc. (Nasdaq: CHUX – News) today announced that Gregory L. Burns will retire as chairman and CEO effective February 12, 2009 after 25 years with the company. The company’s Board of Directors will immediately initiate a nationwide search for his replacement. Commencing February 13, Lawrence E. Hyatt, the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, will serve as interim CEO while Richard Reiss, Jr. and Douglas Benham, existing members of the company’s board of directors, will assume the positions of lead independent director and chairman of the board’s executive committee, respectively.
“Under Greg’s leadership, O’Charley’s has grown to three great brands, 371 restaurants and almost 25,000 employees providing great food and service to guests in 28 states,” says Dale Polley, lead independent director of O’Charley’s. “We appreciate all of his contributions to the company over the past 25 years, 16 of which he served as CEO. We wish him all the best in the future. Greg has built a strong management team, and the board has a high degree of confidence in that team, and in Larry’s ability to lead the company on an interim basis.”
Burns says, “It has been my privilege to work at O’Charley’s over the past 25 years. The entire O’Charley’s family is very close to me and I have great confidence in their ability to lead the company in this difficult economic environment through their ‘Passion to Serve.’ I believe it is time for a change at the top of the organization and look forward to observing the positive progress of the company in the future. I give my sincerest thanks to all of my co-workers for their support during my career.”