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Leadership

Chris Pappas steps down as Luby's CEO

He was succeeded on an interim basis by John Garilli, a liquidation specialist and real estate dealmaker.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Chris Pappas has been succeeded as CEO of Luby’s by John Garilli, a veteran of corporate liquidations and real estate deals.

The change comes as Luby’s is pushing ahead with its liquidation, as announced in 2020. Garilli will be the interim CEO.

Pappas, the company’s largest shareholder, retains a seat on the company’s board.

“The time has come for me to step aside as CEO,”  Pappas said in a statement. “I am pleased John Garilli is joining the company, for he brings extensive executive experience in real estate transactions as well as management of corporate liquidations.”

Pappas had indicated in a securities filing that hehad considered a bid for Luby's. 

Garilli remains president and COO of Winthrop Capital Advisors, a real estate investment firm based in Boston, Mass.

Pappas remains in the restaurant business as CEO Of Pappas Restaurant Group, the operator of such full-service concepts as Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, Pappas Bros. Steakhouse, Pappasito’s Cantina and Dot Coffee House.

He also holds the CEO title at The Chef’s Warehouse, a uniform company he founded. Chef’s Warehouse says on its website that Pappas is 59 years old.

Pappas struggled through much of the last few years to keep Luby’s afloat. But after the company failed to find a buyer of the two-brand company or its major holdings, the board decided last year to liquidate.

Today, the company operates 58 Luby’s Cafeterias and 24 Fuddruckers fast-casual burger restaurants. It also runs a contract foodservice management company, Culinary Contract Services.

The change in corporate leadership transpired on Jan. 27, but was not announced until this week.

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