Bloomin’ Brands has named Brett Patterson president of its Outback Steakhouse business, filling the vacancy left by the promotion of Gregg Scarlett to corporate chief operating officer.
Patterson joined the casual-dining giant in 2017 as group VP of operations for Outback, the position he held until his promotion.
Earlier, Patterson was president of Ruby Tuesday, a position to which he rose after holding several senior operations posts. He was previously SVP of operations for Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants’ competitor to Bloomin’s Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
The appointment is the latest in a series of high-level executive changes revealed today by Bloomin’. A securities filing disclosed this morning that Scarlett had been promoted to COO and EVP to oversee the domestic operations of Outback, Carrabba’s Italian Grill and Bonefish Grill, Bloomin’s three largest and most mature brands. The previous chiefs of Carrabba’s and Bonefish, Jeff Carcara and Michael Kappitt, respectively, have left the company.
The realignment makes Scarlett responsible for 1,150 company-operated or franchised restaurants in the United States.
The filing also revealed that former CEO Liz Smith will step down as executive chairman next month but remain on Bloomin’s board. She will be succeeded as executive chairman by James Craigie, the board’s lead independent director.
Bloomin’ also owns and operates Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, a polished casual concept, and Aussie Grill from Outback Steakhouse, a fast casual spinoff from the company’s largest business. Fleming’s continues to be led by President Beth Scott, and three-unit Aussie Grill is still headed by President Suk Singh.
David Deno remains CEO of Bloomin’, according to the company’s website.
Bloomin’ disclosed in November that it was exploring strategic alternatives, corporate-speak for a sale, merger or other extraordinary step for boosting shareholders’ returns.
More recently, activist investor Jana Partners indicated in securities filings that it intends to seek two more seats on Bloomin’s board. The company has pushed in the past to break up Bloomin’ into two companies. One would consist of the company’s younger and less-developed brands, and the other of Outback.