The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company named Paul Malazita its new chief financial officer.

Dexter Newman, the chief financial officer of Famous Dave’s of America, will step down from his position on March 5, the company announced Monday in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

“The company and its board of directors wishes to express sincere thanks and appreciation to Mr. Newman for his service, and our hope for his success in his next role. Mr. Newman will be working with the company up to his departure date to help ensure continuity and an effective transition,” the company said.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based company also said it reached an agreement with Paul Malazita to assume the role of interim chief financial officer, commencing March 6. The agreement, the company said, is for an indefinite term and Malazita will receive an annual base salary of $165,000. He will be eligible for annual bonus compensation, at the direction of the board, to the tune of 30 percent of his base salary as well.

Malazita, 30, currently serves as Famous Dave’s director of accounting and has been the company’s corporate controller since October 2017. Before that, he was Famous Dave’s senior manager of corporate accounting from March 2017–October 2017. Previous to Famous Dave’s, Malazita was manager of financial reporting at SasS financial solutions provider Digiliti Money Inc.

Malazita will be granted a four-year, 20,000 share non-qualified stock option pursuant to the company’s 2015 stock incentive plan. He also agreed to a 12-month non-compete clause. “For purposes of the noncompetition restriction, competition includes engaging, owning, having an interest, or participating in the financing, operation, management or control of any person, firm, corporation or business whose primary business is the retail sale of barbeque format food or whose restaurant business derives at least 30 percent of its food-related revenues from the sale of barbeque type food or barbeque-related products, in each case in the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and in any other country or U.S. territory in which the Company does business during the employment term,” the filing said.

Famous Dave’s has absorbed some rough stretches recently. The chain has shuttered 22 units since October 2, 2016 and reported a $1.8 million loss in the third quarter of 2017. Famous Dave’s named Jeffrey Crivello CEO in November, replacing Mike Lister.

Casual Dining, Chain Restaurants, Feature, Famous Dave's