He's served as CEO since February 2013.
BJ’s Restaurants announced Monday that CEO Greg Trojan will retire and be replaced by president and CFO Greg Levin.
Thomas Houdek, the chain’s vice president of strategy and financial planning and analysis, will be appointed senior vice president and CFO. All of the moves are effective September 1. Trojan will continue to serve on the board of directors after retirement, and Levin will be added to the board.
Trojan has served as CEO since February 2013 and as a board member since December 2012. He also took on the role of president from December 2012 until January 2018. Prior to his time at BJ’s, he was CEO of Guitar Center, House of Blues Entertainment, and California Pizza Kitchen.
“It has been a pleasure to serve as BJ’s CEO, working with the best team members in the industry for nearly nine years,” Trojan said in a statement. “I am so proud of how we consistently came together to overcome challenges, innovate new approaches to meet the evolving needs of our guests, thoughtfully integrate technology into our operations and guest interactions, and collectively help establish BJ’s as a leader in the casual dining industry. Under the leadership of Greg, Tom and the rest of BJ’s executive team, and with our great teams across the BJ’s platform, I am confident BJ’s will continue to successfully execute on our many growth initiatives and further enhance long-term shareholder value.”
Levin has served as president since January 2018 and as CFO since joining BJ’s in September 2005. Prior to joining the restaurant, he worked as CFO of SB Restaurant Company, a privately held entity that operated the Elephant Bar Restaurants from February 2004 to August 2005. He also served in a number of roles at California Pizza Kitchen from 1996 to 2004, most recently as vice president, CFO, and secretary. He started his career in the audit department of professional services network Ernst & Young.
He holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“During his 16 years at BJ’s, Greg has consistently assumed additional leadership and operations support responsibilities while maintaining excellent stewardship of the Company’s financial affairs and capital markets interactions,” said Jerry Deitchle, chairman of BJ’s, in a statement. “Greg is highly respected by our stakeholders, both within and outside our Company, and possesses the experience and expertise that will help guide the next phase of BJ’s growth and prosperity.”
In the past year, BJ's has most notably grown its new beer subscription program. In March the chain expanded the innovation to a majority of stores in California. As part of the Beer Club, customers pay $30 every two months to receive perks like exclusive beers, a free appetizer, free Pizookie, large pizza, and $5 growler refills to-go. So far, the subscription program is driving incremental visits and profit. BJ's also launched virtual brand Slo Roast, which was expanded into roughly 30 restaurants across California and Texas in April.