Shakeup continues at Famous Dave's; chairman is out

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The chairman of the Famous Dave's restaurant chain, Dean Riesen, resigned abruptly Friday after three years in that position. It's another in a string of leadership changes that have taken place recently at the Minnetonka-based restaurant chain, the Business Journal reports.

Riesen has been on the company's board of directors since 2003, and has been chairman since 2011.

Famous Dave's issued a brief statement Monday announcing Riesen's departure. It did not give any reasons for the move, nor did it name a replacement.

"I would like to thank Dean for his contributions to Famous Dave's," CEO Ed Rensi said in the statement. "Famous Dave's future has never been brighter. We have a strong management team and a new board in place dedicated to serving our customers the country's best BBQ, supporting our franchisees' growth and profitability, and creating value for our shareholders."

The company has been shaking up its leadership team for months after activist investors forced their way in, according to the Business Journal.

Riesen was chairman when the board hired John Gilbert as CEO in October 2012, hoping he could boost the company's performance. But Gilbert abruptly resigned in February, and was replaced by Ed Rensi, a former executive with McDonald’s.

Other top officials who've left Famous Dave's recently are chief operating officer Christopher O'Donnell, the CEO before Gilbert was hired, and chief financial officer Diana Purcel.

According to the Star Tribune, the potential activist shareholders have increased their holdings of Famous Dave's stock over the past year or so. Pleasant Lake Partners is the largest with a 13 percent stake in the company. Pleasant Lake founder Jonathan Lennon was named to the Famous Dave’s board last month, the newspaper reports.

Another activist investor, Patrick Walsh of the Chicago-based PW Group, was named to the board a year ago. His company owns about 10 percent of Famous Dave's outstanding stock, according to the Business Journal.

Next Up

Mortensen becker-finn

Shakopee GOPer posts DFL lawmaker's personal cell number on Facebook

Rep. Erik Mortensen has been accused of 'doxxing' Twin Cities lawmaker Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn.

derek chauvin

Minneapolis scraps plan to pay 'influencers' to share information during Chauvin trial

The plan to pay influencers to share city-approved messages during the trials of the officers charged in George Floyd's death drew criticism.

Doll

Toddler called 911 and said 'baby' was dead, turned out to be her doll

We're checking into whether the doll is named 'Chucky.'

Target Center

NCAA Women's Final Four 2022 will be held in Minneapolis

The NCAA unveiled the logo for the 2022 Final Four on Monday.

49920879552_ef6458affd_o2

As golf season approaches, book your round now at Dacotah Ridge GC

The stunning course is designed by world-renowned architect Rees Jones.

ambulance

Pedestrian killed in hit-and-run in St. Paul Sunday evening

The incident occurred near the intersection of Phalen Boulevard and Atlantic Street.

ambulance

Farmington man killed in rear-end crash

The man was stopped waiting to turn left when he was hit from behind.

vaccine, covid

More than half of Minnesota's 65+ population has received a vaccine dose

Gov. Tim Walz has stated that 70% of seniors will need to have received at least one vaccine does before the state can expand eligibility.

dan dulhane crop

Twin Cities radio personality Dan Culhane has died

He was battling multiple myeloma when he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

police tape, crime scene

Man found dead in Minneapolis from 'act of violence'

A woman was also fatally shot Sunday morning.

police lights

AMBER Alert: Missing 2-year-old found safe

The alert was issued Sunday evening.

Related