Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (NYSE: RT) today announced the appointment of JJ Buettgen as President and Chief Executive Officer. He joins Ruby Tuesday from his most recent role as Chief Marketing Officer of Darden Restaurants, Inc. Additionally, Lead Director Matthew Drapkin has been appointed as Chairman of the Board. Both of these appointments are effective December 1, 2012 and follow the previously-announced retirement of Founder Sandy Beall as Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.
Lead Director Matt Drapkin said, “The Board of Directors is confident that JJ’s proven track record at Darden makes him the right leader for Ruby Tuesday. We have tremendous opportunity ahead of us and JJ’s strategic thinking and brand marketing experience in the restaurant industry will be very valuable as we look to build upon our current momentum in order to drive future growth and value.”
Mr. Buettgen added, “It is an honor to lead Ruby Tuesday and I am excited to join the Company and work with the seasoned management team and dedicated team members to create value for our shareholders. I believe this will be an exciting period of growth for the Company and I am eager to begin.”
Prior to his most recent role as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Darden Restaurants, the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company that owns and operates more than 2,000 casual dining restaurants in its multiple-brand portfolio, JJ served as Darden’s Senior Vice President of Business Development and as President of Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill. JJ has over 20 years of experience in the restaurant and consumer industries including roles at Disneyland Resorts, Brinker International, and General Mills. He holds a BS in Finance from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio and an MBA in Marketing Management from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Mr. Drapkin commented, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we would like to recognize and express our thanks to Sandy for his vision and significant contributions over the last 40 years in founding and building Ruby Tuesday into the great brand that it is today. We wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Sandy Beall added, “It has been a privilege to lead this great brand and team over the past 40 years. I am very excited about JJ’s appointment as CEO and look forward to working with him and the Board to ensure a smooth transition.”