Calabasas Hills, Calif. — The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, W. Douglas Benn, will retire from the company on July 7, 2017. He will be succeeded by Matthew Clark, who brings over 11 years of experience with the company, most recently serving as senior vice president, finance and strategy.
“[Benn] has built a strong finance infrastructure and team, contributed to our significant growth over the past 8 years, and effectively communicated our story to our investors,” says David Overton, chairman and CEO. “Doug has been a valued leader, colleague and friend, and we wish him well.”
Overton continues: “Our finance organization will be in excellent hands under Matt Clark’s leadership. Matt possesses a deep understanding of our business, as well as the broader restaurant industry, and is a well-respected leader across the company.”
In his current role, Clark has overseen the strategy, planning, treasury and risk management functions at The Cheesecake Factory. He also supported investor relations as well as corporate governance during his tenure, and most recently led the company’s minority investment in two external, high-growth restaurant brands. Earlier in his career, he held a number of finance positions of increasing responsibility at Groupe Danone, Kinko’s and The Walt Disney Company.
Benn is a veteran of the restaurant industry having spent more than 25 years in management roles with restaurant companies. He joined The Cheesecake Factory as CFO in 2009 and helped grow the company to over $2 billion in annual revenues while adjusted earnings per share more than tripled. Benn also contributed to the achievement of several milestones, including the company’s international expansion. Prior to joining The Cheesecake Factory, he served as executive vice president and CFO of RARE Hospitality International, which owned LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille preceding that company’s sale to Darden Restaurants, Inc.
The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated created the upscale casual dining segment in 1978 with the introduction of its namesake concept. The company, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates 208 full-service, casual dining restaurants throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including 194 restaurants under The Cheesecake Factory® mark; 13 restaurants under the Grand Lux Cafe® mark; and one restaurant under the Rock Sugar Pan Asian Kitchen® mark. Internationally, 16 The Cheesecake Factory® restaurants operate under licensing agreements. For more information, visit www.thecheesecakefactory.com.
SOURCE: The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated