Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., parent company of the Pollo Tropical brand, today announced that Richard “Rich” Stockinger has stepped down from his role as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer and President to pursue other interests, effective immediately. Dirk Montgomery, Fiesta’s Chief Financial Officer since 2019, will serve as interim CEO while the Company searches for a permanent chief executive.

“We thank Rich for his nearly six years of service with Fiesta,” says Stacey Rauch, who chairs the Company’s board. “He built a superb senior team and skillfully led the Company through an era of difficult challenges. We wish him the best.”

Richard Stockinger says, “It has been my great privilege to work with an exceptionally dedicated and skilled team of executives and restaurant operations leaders who drove real progress during my time with Fiesta. I will treasure the friendships I established, and deeply appreciate the support provided by the Board of Directors. I wish the Fiesta team the best of luck.”

Dirk Montgomery has many years of experience helping major restaurant chains strengthen their accounting, finance, technology, and global supply chains. He served as CFO and head of supply chain at Hooters International, a billion-dollar chain of 425 restaurants in 25 countries, and at Bloomin’ Brands, which operates Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse. He also previously served as a retail and consumer products executive at companies such as L Brands and Sara Lee Corporation, where he served as both a functional and business unit leader.

“Dirk has the experience, knowledge and capabilities to step into the role without missing a beat,” says Ms. Rauch. “He understands our culture, our industry, the challenges we face, and the opportunities that await us. The Board is confident his leadership will further enable the Company to accelerate growth.”

Dirk Montgomery adds, “I am excited to serve in the role as interim CEO, and look forward to accelerating growth from the strong foundation built under Rich Stockinger’s leadership.”

Fiesta appointed its controller, Tyler Yoesting, to serve as Chief Accounting Officer and acting CFO, effective immediately. Before joining the Company in 2019, Mr. Yoesting spent more than a decade in the audit practice of KPMG, a leading professional services and accounting firm.

Employee Management, Fast Casual, News, Pollo Tropical