Fogo de Chao’s CEO to retire

President Barry McGowan will take over the top role at the Brazilian steakhouse chain months after it was acquired by Rhone Capital.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Fogo de Chao CEO Larry Johnson will retire at the end of the month, and the company’s current president, Barry McGowan, will take the top spot, the Brazilian steakhouse chain announced Tuesday.

The appointment comes less than a year after the once publicly held Dallas-based chain was purchased by private-equity firm Rhone Capital in a deal valued at $560 million.

Johnson has served as the chain’s CEO for 11 years, growing it from 11 units in the U.S. and Brazil in 2007 to 51 global restaurants today.


Barry McGowan

“Larry Johnson is an exceptional leader who has guided Fogo through extraordinary growth from a local Brazilian steakhouse to a world-renowned restaurant brand,” Eytan Tigay, Rhone Capital’s chief investment officer, said in a statement. “In that time, he also developed the foundation for long-term success, building an enduring brand and an outstanding leadership tam that is poised to continue delivering superior performance.”

Johnson said, in a statement, that the “time is right” for a leadership shift at Fogo de Chao.

“Barry’s vast operating experience and deep understanding of Fogo and its people make him the ideal choice to lead Fogo into its next phase of growth,” he said.

Fogo de Chao, which was founded in Brazil in 1979, is known for serving flame-roasted meats that are carved tableside by gaucho chefs.


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.


Exclusive Content


4 things we learned in a wild week for restaurant tech

Tech Check: If you blinked, you may have missed three funding rounds, two acquisitions, a “never-before-seen” new product and a bold executive poaching. Let’s get caught up.


High restaurant menu prices mean high customer expectations

The Bottom Line: Diners are paying high prices to eat out at all kinds of restaurants these days. And they’re picking winners and losers.


Podcast transcript: Puttshack CEO Joe Vrankin

A Deeper Dive: The chief executive of the minigolf-centric restaurant chain discusses how the chain focuses on higher-quality games and food.


More from our partners