Leadership

Chili's digital chief Wade Allen has left the company

Allen had been with parent Brinker International since 2014. He gave no reason for his departure in a LinkedIn post Monday.
Allen served two stints as Brinker's chief digital officer. / Photo courtesy of Brinker International

Wade Allen, chief digital officer of Chili’s and Maggiano’s owner Brinker International, has left the company after more than nine years.

Allen announced his departure Monday in a LinkedIn post. He gave no reason for leaving.  

“While I don’t know where my next big adventure is just yet, I couldn’t be more excited about bringing my ‘A game’ to the next amazing opportunity,” he wrote. 

Allen held a variety of roles at Dallas-based Brinker, starting as VP of customer engagement and digital innovation in 2014 and then SVP, chief digital and information officer in 2018.

In mid-2020, he became SVP, head of innovation and transformation, focusing on cutting-edge projects such as server robots, virtual brands and artificial intelligence. 

Wade Allen

Wade Allen / Photo courtesy of Brinker International

When new CEO Kevin Hochman took over in June 2022, he began pumping the brakes on some of those efforts as part of a back-to-basics approach at Chili’s. In October, Allen’s job title was changed to SVP, chief digital officer and head of off-premise. 

It was part of a larger C-suite overhaul under Hochman that included a new CMO, chief people officer, VP of marketing and head of supply chain. 

In his LinkedIn post, Allen thanked some of his “trusted mentors,” including former Brinker CEO Wyman Roberts, CFO Joe Taylor and Maggiano’s President Steve Provost.

“Words cannot express how grateful I am for the opportunity to have met, served, and led so many amazing people,” Allen wrote. “My life is truly better because of the education and experience I received at Brinker, working alongside the best of the best, everyday.”

Brinker did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Members help make our journalism possible. Become a Restaurant Business member today and unlock exclusive benefits, including unlimited access to all of our content. Sign up here.

Multimedia

Exclusive Content

Financing

How Popeyes changed the chicken business

How did a once-struggling, regional bone-in chicken chain overtake KFC, the formerly dominant player in the U.S. market? With a fixation on sandwiches and many more new restaurants.

Financing

Get ready for a summertime value war

The Bottom Line: With more customers opting to eat at home, rather than at restaurants, more fast-food chains will start pushing value this summer.

Food

Inside Chili's quest to craft a value-priced burger that could take on McDonald's

Behind the Menu: How the casual-dining chain smashes expectations with a winning combination of familiarity and price with its new Big Smasher burger.

Trending

More from our partners