The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated announced that Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer W. Douglas Benn will retire from the company on July 7. He will be succeeded by Matthew Clark, who brings over 11 years of experience with the Company, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Finance and Strategy.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors, management team and all of our staff, I want to thank Doug for his numerous contributions to The Cheesecake Factory,” says David Overton, chairman and chief executive officer. “He 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.”
Overton continues, “Our finance organization will be in excellent hands under Matt Clark’s leadership. Matt possesses a deep understanding of our business, as well as the broader restaurant industry, and is a well-respected leader across the company. Matt has a track record of driving sound strategic decisions, rigorous financial management and continuous process improvement. This appointment is part of our Board’s long-term senior management succession planning efforts, and we are confident that we will experience a smooth transition as Matt takes over as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.”
Doug Benn, chief financial officer, says, “It has been an honor to help lead this great brand and work alongside people who are so passionate about serving others and upholding The Cheesecake Factory’s culture of excellence. Matt has been critical to The Cheesecake Factory’s strategy and success over the years so I am confident this will be a seamless transition. In turn, 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.”
As senior vice president, finance and strategy, Matt Clark has overseen the strategy, planning, treasury and risk management functions at The Cheesecake Factory. He also supported investor relations as well as corporate governance during his tenure, and most recently led the Company’s minority investment in two external, high-growth restaurant brands. Earlier in his career, he held a number of finance positions of increasing responsibility at Groupe Danone, Kinko’s and The Walt Disney Company. Clark received an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Doug Benn is a veteran of the restaurant industry having spent more than 25 years in management roles with restaurant companies. He joined The Cheesecake Factory as Chief Financial Officer in 2009 and helped grow the Company to over $2 billion in annual revenues while adjusted earnings per share more than tripled. Benn also contributed to the achievement of several milestones, including the Company’s international expansion and the initiation of the company’s dividend. Prior to joining The Cheesecake Factory, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of RARE Hospitality International, which owned LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille preceding that company’s sale to Darden Restaurants, Inc.
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