After 11 years as CEO of Uno Restaurant LLC, Louie Psallidas has stepped down from his role. Psallidas made the announcement, “A farewell to my friends at Uno,” on his LinkedIn page on November 21.
“When I first became CEO of UNO, a wise man told me that it would be important to recognize when the time comes to step away, and now after almost 11 years at UNO I have decided that the time has come for me to step aside and hand over the reins to a new leader,” he said in the statement. “This was one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made in my life. Everyone who knows me knows how much I love this brand, our company and most of all our people. I am blessed to have this opportunity to step off the merry go round of life, recharge my batteries and figure out what the next chapter will be.”
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In 2008, Psallidas joined Uno as chief financial officer and was later promoted to chief executive officer in 2014.
Psallidas will be replaced by Jim Ilaria, a former CEO of an Applebee’s franchise company, Potomac Family Dining Group. The two will be working together over the next few months to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
“I have worked with our ownership group to find a strong and capable successor with similar values and beliefs who can take the UNO brand to the next level,” Psallidas said in the statement. “I will be working with Jim over the next few weeks to insure a smooth and efficient transition. Jim is a great guy and I wish him all the best success.”
Psallidas’ resignation comes just after the company announced a new refranchising initiative earlier in November. The brand sold eight company-run stores in the Maryland and Virginia markets to MVPizza, LLC.
Uno expects another deal in the refranchising initiative to be completed by the end of the year. This second transaction will consist of company-owned units located in Northeastern markets. When the second transaction is finalized Uno will have 38 company-owned and 54 domestic franchised restaurants throughout New England, Florida, and Chicago.