Hospitality Industry Veteran to Accelerate Growth and Enhance Customer Experience
Atlanta, GA (RestaurantNews.com) FOCUS Brands (the “Company”), parent company of Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, Schlotzsky’s®, and Seattle’s Best Coffee® (in certain military bases and in certain international markets), today announced that Jim Holthouser will join the Company as Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Jim succeeds Steve DeSutter, who is retiring after serving as the Company’s CEO for nearly six years.
Mr. Holthouser brings more than 30 years of experience in worldwide brand development, concept innovation, franchise management, and digital marketing. He most recently served as Executive Vice President, Global Brands, Marketing and Loyalty at Hilton Worldwide, where he was responsible for Hilton’s entire portfolio of 13 brands with over 5,000 hotels across 105 countries, generating annual revenues of $36 billion. Jim spent more than 20 years at Hilton in various strategic and brand management roles and has a proven track record of spearheading the launch, development, and repositioning of leading consumer brands.
“FOCUS Brands is an outstanding company, recognized globally for its iconic brands, and I am pleased to take on this role at such an exciting time in the Company’s history,” said Mr. Holthouser. “I look forward to working with the FOCUS Brands team, franchisees, and suppliers to continue growing our leading foodservices concepts, enhancing our customers’ experience and delivering value to all of our partners.”
“Jim is a results-oriented leader with a demonstrated history of partnering with team members and franchisees to drive results,” said Steve Romaniello, FOCUS Brands Board Chairman. “His track record of managing multi-branded portfolios and growing brands is impressive and gives us great confidence that he is ideally suited to lead FOCUS Brands in its next phase of growth. We thank Steve for his leadership and service over the past six years and look forward to welcoming Jim to the FOCUS Brands family.”
“It has been a great pleasure to serve as CEO of FOCUS Brands over the past six years and I am confident that the business is positioned for continued growth with Jim at the helm,” said Mr. DeSutter. “I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Jim and he has impressed me with his passion for the brands, hospitality and franchising. While it’s always bittersweet to close the door on one chapter, I am very much looking forward to continuing to watch the business grow from my seat in retirement.”
About FOCUS Brands
Atlanta-based FOCUS Brands is a leading developer of global multi-channel foodservice brands. FOCUS Brands, through its affiliate brands, is the franchisor and operator of more than 6,000 restaurants, cafes, ice cream shoppes, and bakeries in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and over 50 foreign countries under the brand names Auntie Anne’s®, Carvel®, Cinnabon®, Jamba®, Moe’s Southwest Grill®, McAlister’s Deli®, and Schlotzsky’s®, as well as Seattle’s Best Coffee® on certain military bases and in certain international markets. Please visit www.focusbrands.com to learn more.
CALABASAS HILLS, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (NASDAQ: CAKE) today announced the expansion of its Board of Directors from seven to eight members and appointed Janice L. Meyer to the Company’s Board of Directors as an independent member. Ms. Meyer will also serve on the Audit Committee of the Board and will stand for election at the 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders.
“Janice brings unique perspective having covered the restaurant industry as an analyst for most of her career,” said David Overton, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated. “Her experience will complement our other Board members as we continue to execute on our growth strategy.”
Following a 20-year career in sell-side research and investment banking covering the restaurant industry at Credit Suisse AG, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette and Morgan Stanley, Ms. Meyer co-founded Rellevant Partners, a private equity firm that focuses on lower middle-market restaurant and food & beverage companies. As a Managing Partner of the firm, Ms. Meyer is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the investment process, including analyzing, advising and monitoring portfolio companies. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Tillster, Inc., a restaurant industry-focused technology company, is a Trustee of The Windward School and a former board member of Chop’t Creative Salad Company.
About The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated is a leader in experiential dining. We are culinary forward and relentlessly focused on hospitality. Delicious, memorable experiences created by passionate people – this defines who we are and where we are going. We currently own and operate 294 restaurants throughout the United States and Canada under brands including The Cheesecake Factory®, North Italia® and a collection within the Fox Restaurant Concepts subsidiary. Internationally, 26 The Cheesecake Factory® restaurants operate under licensing agreements. Our bakery division operates two facilities that produce quality cheesecakes and other baked products for our restaurants, international licensees and third-party bakery customers. In 2020, we were named to the FORTUNE Magazine “100 Best Companies to Work For®” list for the seventh consecutive year. To learn more, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com, www.northitaliarestaurant.com and www.foxrc.com.