Thursday, June 20, 2024

Andy Wiederhorn To Step Down As Fat Brands CEO

Fat Brands CEO Andy Wiederhorn announced on Monday that he will be stepping down in May to become a strategic advisor for the Los Angeles-based restaurant chain operator. Wiederhorn will continue to serve on the Fat Brands board, and his family office, Fog Cutter Holdings, will remain the controlling shareholder. The company stated that Wiederhorn’s focus will be on Fat Brands’ long-term strategy and capital allocation plans.

The decision comes as Wiederhorn seeks to eliminate the distraction caused by a federal investigation tied to his family. Last year, federal agents raided the home of Wiederhorn’s son, Thayer, and sought a search warrant for Wiederhorn’s Beverly Hills home. The investigation raised questions about Wiederhorn’s past, as he pleaded guilty to tax evasion in 2004 and spent 16 months in prison. However, Wiederhorn has remained a public figure and has acknowledged his past.

Fat Brands, which owns 17 concepts with $2.2 billion in annual system sales, did not name an interim CEO, but stated that they will do so before Wiederhorn transitions to his new role. The company has been sued various times over the years, including a shareholder lawsuit over the Fog Cutter merger in 2021, which led to the federal investigation.

In a statement, Wiederhorn said he will continue to support the growth and evolution of Fat Brands and champion the talented executive team. Fat Brands gave its CFO, Ken Kuick, a $200,000 retention bonus if he stayed through the first quarter of this year.

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