Bloomin' Brands to part ways with longtime executive Gregg Scarlett

Scarlett’s position, COO of casual dining, is being eliminated as part of “organizational design changes” at Bloomin’. He has worked there for nearly 30 years.
Scarlett led operations at Bonefish Grill and Carrabba's Italian Grill. | Photo: Shutterstock

Gregg Scarlett, a longtime Bloomin’ Brands’ executive and current COO of its casual-dining division, is leaving the company after his position was eliminated.

Scarlett has been with the Outback Steakhouse owner for nearly 30 years and has been president of both Outback and Bonefish Grill during his tenure. His departure is the result of “organizational design changes” at the company, according to a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As casual-dining COO, Scarlett oversaw domestic operations and development for Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill. He also held the title of executive vice president.

His last day will be March 15. He’ll receive a severance payment of nearly $1.5 million at that time. 

Bloomin’ is under pressure from activist investor Starboard Value to make changes at the company. Starboard owns about 10% of Bloomin’ stock and has a track record of enacting turnarounds at restaurant firms including Darden Restaurants and Papa Johns. 

The investor believes Bloomin’ is undervalued despite being one of the largest full-service restaurant companies in the U.S., with more than 1,000 locations across the Outback, Carrabba's, Bonefish and Fleming's Prime brands.

Those brands have struggled recently. In the second quarter, same-store sales at Outback rose just 0.6%, Carrabba's was up 3.5%, Bonefish was up 0.5% and Fleming's was down 2.5%.

In August, shortly after Starboard took its large stake, Bloomin’ made changes to its board. Chairman Jim Craigie retired after 10 years and was replaced by R. Michael Mohan, who joined in 2017. Rohit Lal, EVP and CIO for trucking company Saia Inc., also joined the board.

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