Ruby Tuesday names Buettgen president, CEO; Drapkin appointed chairman of the board
By Buzz Trexler | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Buettgen most recently served as senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Darden Restaurants Inc., of Orlando, Fla., which is reported to be the world’s largest full-service restaurant and operating company with more than 2,000 restaurants. According to its website, Darden has annual sales of more than $8 billion and employs 185,000 people. Its brands include Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House
While at Darden, Buettgen also served as senior vice president of business development and as president of Smokey Bones Barbeque and Grill. He has more than 20 years of experience in the restaurant and consumer industries, including roles at Disneyland Resorts, Brinker Internaitonal and General Mills. Buettgen holds a bachelor of science in finance from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, and a master's of business administration in marketing management from the University of California at Los Angeles.
""The board of directors is confident that J.J.'s proven track record at Darden makes him the right leader for Ruby Tuesday," Drapkin said. "We have tremendous opportunity ahead of us and J.J.'s strategic thinking and brand marketing experience in the restaurant industry will be very valuable as we look to build our current momentum in order to drive future growth and value."
"It is an honor to lead Ruby Tuesday and I am excited to join the company and work with the seasoned management team and dedicated team members to create value for our shareholders," Buettgen said in a release from Ruby Tuesday today. "I believe this will be an exciting period of growth for the company and I am eager to begin."
Darden announced Buettgen's departure on its website this morning.
"We understand and respect JJ's desire to lead an organization and we wish him well in his new endeavor," said Drew Madsen, president and chief operating oficer. "When we created the CMO position two years ago, we did so with an eye toward establishing a marketing structure that enables stronger integration, greater innovation and accelerated growth across the enterprise. During his tenure, J.J. helped successfully implement that structure while building a solid foundation of marketing talent across our brands."
Ruby Tuesday restaurants are found in 45 states, the District of Columbia, 12 foreign countries and Guam. There are currently 712 Ruby Tuesday owned and operated restaurants and 78 Ruby Tuesday franchised restaurants.
Ruby Tuesday Inc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RT.