PORTLAND Ore. McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants Inc. has named Fox Sports Grill founder William Freeman chief executive, effective Jan. 12, officials said Monday. Freeman will take over the CEO duties from company co-founder Douglas Schmick, who will remain chairman of the board.
Freeman, who will also serve on McCormick & Schmick’s board, is a 19-year veteran of the foodservice and entertainment industries. Most recently, he served as president and chief executive of Fox Sports Grill, a six-unit casual-dining chain based in Westlake Village, Calif., which he founded under B&B Restaurant Ventures.
Freeman also has held executive positions with Sundance Entertainment and Disney Regional Entertainment, where he developed the ESPN Zone sports bar brand. Prior to that, he helped develop the Champps Americana and Fuddruckers brands under previous owner DAKA International.
“We believe Bill’s experience with several major brands provides the right skill set to help manage and preserve the McCormick & Schmick’s legacy as we seek to drive consumer awareness regarding our unique positioning, diverse menu offering and compelling price-value proposition,” Schmick said.
McCormick & Schmick's operates 85 namesake restaurants in the United States and six Boathouse restaurants in Canada.