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The Cheesecake Factory CFO to retire

W. Douglass Benn will be replaced by Matthew Clark

W. Douglas Benn, executive vice president and chief financial officer of The Cheesecake Factory Inc., will step down on July 7 and be replaced by Matthew Clark, senior vice president, finance and strategy, the casual-dining operator said Thursday.

“The time is right for me to pursue other interests, and I look forward to remaining active in the restaurant industry and beyond in my next chapter,” Benn, who joined The Cheesecake Factory as CFO in 2009, said in a statement. 

The management changes are part of a long-planned succession by the board, the company said. 

As CFO, Benn helped grow The Cheesecake Factory Inc. to more than $2 billion in annual revenue, while adjusted earnings per share have more than tripled, the company said. Under his term, the Calabasas Hills, Calif.-based company also launched international expansion.

David Overton, chairman and CEO of The Cheesecake Factory Inc., said in a statement that Benn has “built a strong finance infrastructure and team, contributed to our significant growth over the past eight years, and effectively communicated our story to our investors. Doug has been a valued leader, colleague and friend, and we wish him well.”

Benn pledged that the transition to Clark’s leadership as CFO would be seamless. 

As senior vice president, Clark has overseen the strategy, planning, treasury and risk management functions at the company, and he supported investor relations and corporate governance.

Most recently, he led The Cheesecake Factory’s minority investment in two brands developed by Fox Restaurants Concepts LLC, North Italia and Flower Child.

Clark has previously held finance positions at Groupe Danone, Kinko’s and The Walt Disney Company.

“Our finance organization will be in excellent hands under Matt Clark’s leadership,” Overton said. “Matt possesses a deep understanding of our business, as well as the broader restaurant industry, and is a well respected leader across the company.”

Contact Lisa Jennings at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @livetodineout

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