Famous Dave's CEO John Gilbert resigns after 18 months

Categories: News

Famous Dave's, the Minnetonka-based barbecue franchise, announced yesterday that CEO John Gilbert has resigned after 18 months with the company.

Ed Rensi, the former president of McDonald's, has been chosen as Famous Dave's interim chief executive officer in Gilbert's place. Rensi served as the president and chief executive of McDonald's for six years before founding the Chicago-based burger chain Tom & Eddies.

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"I have been a customer and a fan of Famous Dave's for 20 years and I am delighted to lead Famous Dave's for the foreseeable future," Rensi said in a statement. "Dave Anderson [the company's namesake] has been a professional friend of mine for a long time. Dave and his barbecue are iconic and I look forward to working with him and the Famous Dave's team on this great brand to unleash all of its potential."

Gilbert was chosen as CEO following a year-long stint on Famous Dave's board of directors. Prior to that, he served as the CEO of the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. Gilbert's reasons for leaving Famous Dave's have yet to be revealed, but board chairman Dean Riesen told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal that he thought Gilbert would be the CEO for a long time and was surprised by his departure.

Despite Gilbert's departure, Riesen said the company still plans to release fourth quarter and 2013 results on schedule, following the market close on February 12. He noted that Famous Dave's revenue has increased by about $444,000 in the past year.

Famous Dave's of America Inc. currently owns 52 locations and franchises another 142 in 34 states, Puerto Rico, and a province of Canada. The first restaurant was opened in Hayward, Wisconsin, in 1994 by Dave Anderson, the former assistant secretary of the interior for Indian Affairs.

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Location Info



Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Uptown

3001 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN

Category: Restaurant

My Voice Nation Help
MNjoe topcommenter

At $1.6 million a year, he made $2.4 mil total for his 18 months. Yeah, I could retire on that...

Christopher Gordon Storlie
Christopher Gordon Storlie

Great Nick, sounds like a great way to spend YOUR day but I on the other hand don't give a shit!!!! Thanks for the amaaaazing idea.

Nick Longworth
Nick Longworth

Why is this news? Go ahead and Google the eight values of newsworthiness; especially timeliness, prominence, proximity and human interest.

Craig Viknx
Craig Viknx

hope they continue the hand painted advertising

Dustin Pettee
Dustin Pettee

I worked for Famous Daves for 6 years, I worked my self all the way to the top as a manager. The money was great! I left because of stories that, stores were going under, and heard of shake ups in bussiness.

MNjoe topcommenter

It's news because people like you read it and then feel moved enough to actually take the time to comment on it.

ajlalk3 topcommenter

What do you think is news then? Maybe you should start up your own website and report on all the things you think are important.

MNjoe topcommenter


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