Famous Dave’s of America Inc. CFO Dexter Newman has stepped down, effective March 5, “to accept an eventual external role,” the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Monday.
The Minnetonka, Minn.-based casual-dining operator named Paul Malazita interim CFO, effective March 6. Malazita is currently the chain’s director of accounting and corporate controller, a position he has held since October. He joined Famous Dave’s in March as senior manager of corporate accounting. Before that, he was manager of financial reporting at Digiliti Money Inc.
According to the filing, Malazita will receive an annual base salary of $165,000 and is eligible for a 30-percent bonus at the discretion of the company’s board of directors, as well as a four-year, 20,000 share stock option that will vest in equal monthly installments over that period.
Malazita agreed to a 12-month non-compete clause should he leave the company, barring him for working for companies that derive at least 30 percent of food-related revenue from “barbeque type food or barbeque-related products” in markets where Famous Dave’s operates, according to the filing.
Famous Dave’s and its board “wishes to express sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. Newman for his service, and our hope for his success in his next role,” the filing said, adding that he would continue to work with the company until March 5, “to help ensure continuity and an effective transition.”
Newman’s departure comes three months after the appointment of Jeffrey Crivello as CEO, replacing Mike Lister, who held the post for a year.
Famous has closed 22 restaurants since Oct. 2, 2016, according to its latest earnings report, giving it a total of 154 locations. The company reported a $1.8 million loss for the third quarter of 2017, an improvement over the $2.5 million loss it reported a year earlier.
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