Hazem Ouf announced Thursday that he has resigned his position as president/CEO and vice chairman of American Blue Ribbon Holdings effective October 1.
Ouf has served as president and CEO of ABRH since the company was formed in March 2009. He was hired by Fidelity Newport Holdings and its wholly owned subsidiary ABRH to restructure and revitalize the company. In the ensuing seven years, Ouf created a successful business model of diversified multi-restaurant concepts and a bakery manufacturing facility. He grew the company’s annual revenue from $375 million to more than $1.2 billion, becoming the eighth largest full-service restaurant group in the U.S.
Ouf led the company’s growth by way of internal sales increases and strategic acquisitions. At its inception, ABRH owned Village Inn, Bakers Square, and Legendary Baking. The company acquired Max & Erma’s restaurants in 2010 and O’Charley’s Inc. in 2012, which included O’Charley’s, Ninety Nine Restaurants and Stoney River Legendary Steaks. Today, ABRH operates 648 company and franchise restaurants in 42 states.
“My seven years with ABRH were the most exciting and rewarding of my career, but it is now time for me to move on to explore what is next for me professionally and continue my passion to serve,” Ouf says. “By having a clear, compelling and consistent strategy, ABRH attained financial success that exceeded all expectations and created significant shareholder value.
"I’ve always believed that strong financial results are a byproduct of an enduring culture created by organizations that believe success rests in the hands of the most vital asset within every business—their people. I leave ABRH well-positioned with strong brands and great momentum to go to the next level. And I take great pride and satisfaction in what our 31,000 team members across the nation have accomplished, including the tremendous growth and development of ABRH as a great company.”
A 35-year restaurant industry veteran, Ouf started his career in London and served as president and CEO of several national restaurant chains before leading ABRH.