Noodles & Company chairman and CEO Kevin Reddy is stepping down, effective immediately, the company said Monday.
Reddy, who has helmed the Broomfield, Colo.-based fast-casual chain since 2006, is also stepping down as a member of the board of directors.
Dave Boennighausen, the company’s chief financial officer, has been appointed interim CEO, and Robert Hartnett, who most recently was CEO of Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc., has been named chairman of the board.
A search for a permanent CEO is underway, the company said.
“After many years with this great company, I have decided that it is the right time in my career to pursue new personal and financial opportunities,” said Reddy in a statement. “I am honored to have worked with a remarkable team that has successfully positioned Noodles & Company as a unique brand and achieved significant growth to bring the concept to over 60 million guests around the country. I am looking forward to finding that elusive balance we all seek between personal goals and dreams and the right business opportunities that make them possible.”
Reddy joined Noodles & Company in April 2005 and was named CEO in May 2006. He was named chairman in 2008.
Noodles held a successful initial public offering in 2013, with many making comparisons with then high-flying Chipotle Mexican Grill, where Reddy served as chief operating officer before making the jump to the fast-casual pasta chain.
More recently, however, Noodles has struggled to get traction as the chain attempted to rework its brand positioning with its globally flavored, made-from-scratch menu.
For the second quarter ended June 28, the company said same-store sales are expected to be down 0.9 percent at company-owned units, and down 2.1 percent at franchised restaurants, for a systemwide decrease of 1 percent, according to preliminary results.
Revenues are expected to be about $121 million for the quarter, up from $115.2 million a year ago. The more than 500-unit chain is scheduled to release earnings on Aug. 4.
Scott Dahnke, Noodles lead independent director, said in a statement that Reddy dedicated himself to growing the chain from about 100 units to more than 500 restaurants over the past decade.
“We appreciate Kevin’s many years of leadership, his unwavering commitment to providing a high-quality guest experience and his contributions to the company’s success,” he said. “We wish him well in his future endeavors.”