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Texas Roadhouse’s president abruptly steps down

Scott Colosi has departed at the same time his retirement was announced. Founder Kent Taylor will assume Colosi’s duties.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO Kent Taylor has assumed the additional post of president following the abrupt retirement yesterday of Scott Colosi at age 53.

Colosi had served as president since 2011, and has been a part of Roadhouse’s C-suite since 2002.

No reason was provided by the high-flying casual chain for the abruptness of Colosi’s departure. Nor did Roadhouse indicate that Taylor’s assumption of the role is temporary. 

“Scott has provided tremendous value to Texas Roadhouse over the past 17 years,” Taylor 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.”

Colosi was given 25,000 shares of restricted stock in Roadhouse by the company yesterday, according to a securities filing. Ten thousand of the shares vest on Jan. 8, 2020, and the remainder vest a year later.

His compensation dropped to about $1 million last year, from $3.6 million in 2017, according to Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

Roadhouse has consistently been a leader in sales growth among publicly owned casual-dining chains. Same-store sales for the 590-unit chain rose 5.2% at company-operated restaurants and 4.3% at domestic franchised stores for the quarter ended March 26.

It is highly unusual for a top officer of a public company to retire without a succession plan in place. In the past year, Liz Smith announced her retirement as CEO of Bloomin’ Brands, the parent of Roadhouse rival Outback Steakhouse, and longtime Sonic Corp. CEO Cliff Hudson announced that he was leaving his post. In both instances, their successors were named simultaneous with the retirement announcements. 

Correction: The story has been updated to reflect Colosi's departure on June 20, not June 21, as originally reported.

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