Brinker names new CEO

by Eric Schroeder
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DALLAS — The board of directors for Brinker International, Inc. has named Wyman Roberts president and chief executive officer, effective Jan. 1, 2013. He will succeed Douglas Brooks, who will continue as chairman of the board through December 2013 to ensure a successful transition of leadership. In addition to his new responsibilities, Roberts will retain his current role as president of Chili’s Grill & Bar.

“The board of directors has worked closely with Doug for an extended period of time on this transition and unanimously supported Wyman’s selection as his successor,” said Joe DePinto, lead director. “Brinker has been extremely fortunate to have been led by Doug, who skillfully guided the company through challenging times, augmenting what was already a strong culture and turning it into a competitive advantage. Doug leaves his current role as CEO and president with the company on solid footing in an upward trajectory.”

Roberts has been president of Chili’s Grill & Bar since 2009, and earlier was Brinker’s chief marketing officer and president of the Maggiano’s Little Italy brand from 2005 to 2009. Before joining Brinker, he was executive vice-president and CMO for NBC’s Universal Parks & Resorts. He is also a 17-year veteran of Darden Restaurants, Inc., where he held numerous senior level positions, including executive vice-president of marketing for the Red Lobster brand.

Brinker International is the parent company of restaurant brands Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy. Brinker also holds a minority investment in Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

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