P.F. Chang’s announced Monday that CEO Damon Adamolekun will step down effective August 1.
Rohit Manocha, a shareholder representative and board member since 2019, will serve as interim chief executive. He is currently working with an independent recruitment firm to find P.F. Chang’s next leader.
“On behalf of the Board and the entire P.F. Chang’s team, I want to thank Damola for his invaluable contributions since he joined the Company,” chairman John Paulson said in a statement. “Damola stepped in as CEO in the midst of the Covid-induced economic shut down and successfully pivoted the business to off-premise dining to continue to serve customers and stabilize cash flow. Subsequently, he returned the Company to growth through a total brand refresh and new restaurant openings that position P.F. Chang’s for long-term success. We are grateful for his leadership of the Company during this period.”
Adamolekun became CEO in 2020. Previously, he was a partner at private equity firm Paulson & Co., which teamed up with TriArtisan Capital Partners in 2019 to buy P.F. Chang’s for around $700 million. The new ownership group was responsible for opening the first off-premises-only P.F. Chang’s To Go restaurant in February 2020.
When Adamolkeun steps down, he will return to his role at Paulson.
“I’m immensely proud of all that we’ve accomplished to elevate the customer experience, to build-out the Company’s technology infrastructure to enable a robust takeout and delivery business, and to expand our international footprint,” Adamolekun said in a statement. “It’s been an honor to lead P.F. Chang’s, and I wholeheartedly believe the strong team we have in place will continue to drive success in the future.”
The brand, founded in 1993 by Philip Chiang and Paul Fleming, has more than 300 locations in 22 countries and U.S. airport locations.
Since the acquisition, the chain has spent more than $200 million to open more than 10 quick-service spinoffs, construct two full-service flagships, revitalize the existing store fleet, and upgrade the menu. In July 2021, P.F. Chang’s was reportedly interested in filing an IPO, according to Bloomberg. Discussions with advisors said the brand was worth at least $1 billion at the time. The plans have yet to come to fruition.
Manocha will take over with deep experience in the restaurant industry. He is the co-founder of TriArtisan Capital and chairman of TGI Fridays.
“The P.F. Chang’s brand and restaurant network are in a great position, and I look forward to working closely with our talented team to build on our momentum, drive increased traffic and transition the Company to its next world class leader,” Manocha said in a statement. “Most importantly, we will continue to make our customers’ lives better through iconic, authentic food and joyful hospitality.”