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Famous Dave’s chairman, former CEO step down from board

Famous Dave’s of America Inc. has appointed Joseph Jacobs, co-founder of the hedge fund Wexford Capital, as its new chairman, part of a board shakeup in which former CEO Ed Rensi also stepped down as company director.

Jacobs replaces David Mastrocola, who had been named chairman just last year and who, along with director Brett Heffes, have resigned to make room for Jacobs and Richard Shapiro, a Wexford Capital partner.

Rensi’s departure came less than one month after he stepped down as CEO. At the time, the company said that he would remain on the board and oversee the company’s international expansion.

"We welcome the proven leadership and experience that our new directors bring to the board,” Famous Dave’s interim CEO Adam Wright said in a statement. “Our focus is on what has made us Famous from the start, offering our guests legendary pit barbeque that has won over 700 national awards.”

Wexford Capital, which recently acquired a 19 percent stake in the 181-unit Famous Dave’s, had expressed interest in taking on an active leadership role within the company. 

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