Houlihan’s parent company has hired three senior-level executives, including a CFO and CMO, in what the casual-dining operator describes as a strengthening of its management ranks.
All three have deep experience with restaurant chains and public companies.
Now serving as CFO of HRI Inc. is Terry Harryman, the former VP of finance, planning and investor relations for Red Robin. He earlier worked at Sonic Drive-In for 12 years.
Harryman replaces Bob Nygren, who left Houlihan’s in the spring to become CEO of Wild Wing Cafe . He is responsible for HRI’s technology and purchasing functions as well as finance.
Bill Leibengood, a former VP of marketing for Wingstop, has joined HRI in the new role of CMO, with responsibility for the menu strategy of Houlihan’s and its sister brands as well as their marketing and advertising efforts. Before working for Wingstop, a limited-service wings chain, Leibengood spent 10 years with Applebee’s as executive director of brand management. Houlihan’s CEO and co-owner Mike Archer is also an alumnus of Applebee’s.
Assuming the newly created post of SVP of operations for the Houlihan’s chain is Chad Devorak, a 20-year veteran of Yard House, Darden Restaurants’ beer-focused concept. In his new post, Devorak will oversee all operations of Houlihan’s core central division.
Houlihan’s is HRI’s largest business, with about 46 company-operated casual restaurants and 22 franchises. HRI also operates more than a dozen polished-casual restaurants, including Devon Seafood + Steak, J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks & Seafood and Bristol Seafood Grill.