Former Red Robin chief executive officer Michael Snyder died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head on Sunday, TMZ.com reported Tuesday.
In a report from the Yakima County Coroner, it says Snyder shot himself on Sunday with a high-powered rifle outside of his home in Yakima County, Washington, TMZ said. According to authorities, no suicide note was found.
Snyder became the first Red Robin franchisee in 1979 and would go on to open 14 restaurants in Washington, Colorado, and Idaho. He became CEO in 1996. In 2000, Snyder merged his franchise company with its parent company forming the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers we know today. Snyder was also responsible for taking the company public in 2002.
After an internal investigation revealed Snyder had misused company funds to charter planes for both personal and business trips, he resigned in 2005. Although Snyder left his position as CEO, he remained one of Red Robin’s biggest stockholders.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mike Snyder. During Mike's time with the Red Robin family, he made many contributions to the growth of our brand, including his role as an early franchisee and, some years later, his leadership role at the company," Red Robin said in a statement. "Many of our current team members and franchisees knew and worked closely with Mike during his time here and fondly recall his boundless energy and passion for Red Robin. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mike's family and friends as they mourn his passing and celebrate his life."