Rave Restaurant Group names interim CEO

Rave Restaurant Group names interim CEO

Randy Gier steps down as chief executive of the pizza company

Rave Restaurant Group Inc. appointed current board member Clinton Coleman as interim CEO to succeed Randy Gier, who has stepped down, the company said today.

The Colony, Texas-based Rave, parent to the fast-casual Pie Five Pizza and buffet-based Pizza Inn, said in a statement that it had retained the executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles to help find a permanent CEO and the succession was “through a mutual agreement between all parties.”

Gier had been named CEO in November 2012 and oversaw the company’s name change from Pizza Inn to Rave Restaurant Group in January 2015.

Randy Gier stepped down as CEO of Rave Restaurant Group. Photo: Rave

"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank Randy for his leadership and important contributions to the evolution and growth of the Pie Five concept," said Mark Schwarz, Rave’s chairman, in a statement.

"Pie Five has become a clear leader in the fast-casual pizza segment and is now ready for the transition to a new phase of leadership as it continues on its path of rapid growth, scalability and greater operational efficiencies,” Schwarz said.

Coleman, who has served on the company's board for nine years, is a managing director of Newcastle Capital Management, which is the general partner of the company's largest shareholder. Coleman also has served as CEO of Bell Industries Inc. and interim CEO of Rave.

"This year we have further deepened our management talent,” Coleman said, “and I'm confident that we will make progress on our initiatives during this interim period."

Gier said in a statement: "I'm proud of the progress and growth that we have brought to these great brands, our valued franchisees and the many talented members of the team. I will be rooting from the sidelines as I pursue the next chapter in my career.”

Both Rave restaurant brands reported same-store sales declines in the third quarter ended March 27.

Same-store sales fell 4 percent at fast-casual Pie Five and decreased 2.2 percent at domestic Pizza Inn locations in the quarter, the company said.

For the third quarter, Rave reported a widened loss of $1.2 million, or 12 cents a share, from a loss of $570,000, or 5 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Revenue in the quarter rose 28.2 percent, to $15.3 million, from $11.9 million in the prior-year period.

Pie Five saw average weekly sales decline 8.6 percent year over year, the company said.

Rave Restaurant Group owns, operates and franchises more than 300 Pie Five Pizza Co. and Pizza Inn restaurants in the United States and abroad.

Contact Ron Ruggless at [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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