Einstein Noah begins search for new c.e.o.

by Jeff Gelski
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LAKEWOOD, COLO. – The board of directors for Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is searching for a permanent chief executive officer and president after Jeff O’Neill resigned Feb. 24. Mr. O’Neill had served as c.e.o. since December of 2008 and was president and c.e.o. before resigning.

Michael Arthur, a director of the company since October 2004, was appointed interim c.e.o. and president. Since 1990 Mr. Arthur has headed Michael Arthur and Associates, a consulting an interim management firm specializing in restructurings, business development, and strategic, financial, marketing and branding strategies.

Restaurant industry experience for Mr. Arthur came when he was a financial advisor to Long John Silver’s and when he was executive vice-president and chief financial officer for Sizzler. He has a bachelor’s of arts degree from Johns Hopkins University, and he attended Wharton Graduate School of business.

“We appreciate Michael stepping into the c.e.o. and president roles on a temporary basis, and his long tenure on our board will help facilitate leadership continuity until we can complete the process of identifying a suitable replacement,” said Nelson Heumann, chairman of the board for Lakewood-based Einstein Noah Restaurant Group. “Michael possesses decades of restaurant and management expertise, which is ideal for ensuring a smooth and orderly transition during this interim period.

“We would also like to thank Jeff for his dedicated service to Einstein Noah. Jeff built a strong team, developed a growing franchise and licensing business, and left the company in a better position than when he started. We wish him well as he explores other career opportunities.”

Also on Feb. 24, Einstein Noah Restaurant Group reported preliminary results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year of 2013. Net income for the fiscal year was $14.6 million, or 82c per diluted share, which compared to $12.7 million, or 74c per diluted share, in the prior year. Total revenues for the year increased 1.8% to $434.5 million from $427 million. The company will issue full financial results after the market closes on Feb. 27.

Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc. operates, franchises and licenses locations under the Einstein Bros., Noah’s New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel brands. The group has more than 850 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia.
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