Damola Adamolekun is stepping down as CEO of P.F. Chang’s China Bistro effective Aug. 1, the Asian-influenced casual dining chain said Monday.
Rohit Manocha, co-founder and managing director of TriArtisan Capital Advisors, an owner of P.F. Chang’s, has been named interim CEO while the board works with an independent recruitment firm to find a permanent replacement.
Adamolekun has been the restaurant chain’s CEO since July of 2020 after he helped lead the 2019 deal in which Paulson & Co and TriArtisan Capital Advisors acquired it from Centerbridge Partners. He will return to Paulson as a partner focusing on investments.
In a press release announcing Adamolekun’s departure, Paulson president and board chairman John Paulson thanked the outgoing executive for his “invaluable contributions” since joining P.F. Chang’s.
"Damola stepped in as CEO in the midst of the COVID-induced economic shutdown and successfully pivoted the business to off-premise dining to continue to serve customers and stabilize cash flow,” he said. “ Subsequently, he returned the Company to growth through a total brand refresh and new restaurant openings that position P.F. Chang's for long-term success. We are grateful for his leadership of the Company during this period."
Adamolekun said, "I'm immensely proud of all that we've accomplished to elevate the customer experience, to build-out the Company's technology infrastructure to enable a robust takeout and delivery business, and to expand our international footprint. It's been an honor to lead P.F. Chang's, and I wholeheartedly believe the strong team we have in place will continue to drive success in the future."
Incoming interim CEO Manocha said he was optimistic about the Scottsdale, Ariz-based restaurant chain’s future.
"The P.F. Chang's brand and restaurant network are in a great position, and I look forward to working closely with our talented team to build on our momentum, drive increased traffic and transition the Company to its next world class leader. Most importantly, we will continue to make our customers' lives better through iconic, authentic food and joyful hospitality."
Manocha is also chairman of TGI Fridays.
P.F. Chang’s has more than 300 restaurants in 22 countries.
Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected]