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Executives on the move across restaurants in December

Though the last month of the year saw many executives named to new positions, it also saw resignations and deaths

December held both a slew of executive promotions and a mass exodus from some big industry names either retiring or moving to undisclosed projects.

Perhaps the biggest news of an executive leaving was Kat Cole, formerly president and chief operating officer of Focus Brands. Cole announced she would be leaving in December after 10 years with the company. Focus Brands confirmed it would not replace her, instead having the areas that reported to Cole report straight to CEO Jim Holthouser.

There were resignations in the C-suite at Dine Brands and Cracker Barrel as well.

There were also two deaths. Both the founder of Pizza Hut, Frank Carney, and the founder of Applebee’s, Bill Palmer, passed away in December.

TooJay’s – which emerged from bankruptcy in late 2020 after declaring Chapter 11 during the COVID pandemic – announced the search for its new CEO in December as well. The brand named former Uno’s CEO Jim Ilaria interim CEO during the search.

Darden also saw an executive shake-up in its C-suite. Gene Lee was elected to board chair in addition to his role of CEO, while the company named both a new president and new chief financial officer.

Paris Baguette, Qdoba, Texas Roadhouse, Starbucks, California Pizza Kitchen and more named new executives to both their C-suites and boards.

See which executives were on the move in December.

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