Less than two weeks after abruptly retiring as president of Texas Roadhouse, Scott Colosi agreed to serve as an on-call consultant for the company until March 1 for $1.9 million, providing a possible clue as to why the longtime executive suddenly stopped working at age 53.
The arrangement, as revealed in a securities filing, specifies that Colosi will deal with CFO Tonya Robinson, not his replacement as president and his boss for the past 17 years, CEO and founder Kent Taylor.
The deal calls for Colosi to be on standby for any requests from Robinson, who holds the job Colosi filled before moving up to president of Roadhouse in 2011. He will be paid a fee of $500,000 in twice-monthly installments until March 1, when he will receive an additional lump sum of $1.4 million.
The $1.9 million that Colosi will earn as a consultant is more than the $1 million he was paid in total compensation for 2018. He earned $3.6 million in salary and bonuses the prior year, according to securities filings.
The consulting fees due Colosi are in addition to the 25,000 shares of restricted Roadhouse stock that were given to him when he resigned on June 21. Fifteen thousand of the shares vest on Jan. 1, with the rest vesting a year later.
Roadhouse did not provide details about Colosi’s decision to retire when the departure was announced June 20. He left the company on the same day, a highly unusual turn of events for a top officer of a public company.
Taylor was complimentary toward Colosi when the retirement was announced. “Scott has provided tremendous value to Texas Roadhouse over the past 17 years,” he said in a statement. “He was instrumental in taking us public in 2004 and has contributed significantly to the growth of our brands. We wish Scott the best of luck as he embarks on his retirement.”
Taylor had relinquished a number of top-level duties to Colosi, including the job of handling Roadhouse's quarterly conference call with analysts. But his influence was still evident. For instance, when an analyst asked during one of the calls if Roadhouse was looking at delivery, a service many of its competitors had added, Taylor interjected with a declaration that the chain would never make that move.
Delivery has since become a prime driver of growth in the casual segment in which Roadhouse competes.