Lakewood, Colo., // PRNewswire-FirstCall // -- Einstein Noah Restaurant Group (Nasdaq: BAGL), a leader in the quick-casual segment of the restaurant industry operating primarily under the Einstein Bros.(R) Bagels, Noah's New York Bagels(R), and Manhattan Bagel(R) brands, today announced that it has appointed Jeff O'Neill as chief executive officer and as a director, effective immediately. Paul Murphy, who had been chief executive officer, president, and director since October 2003, has resigned.
Mr. O'Neill is a 20-year Food and Beverage Industry veteran with an extensive leadership background in brand marketing, strategic planning and operations. He joins Einstein Noah from Priszm Income Fund in Toronto, Canada, where he held the titles of chief operating officer, president and most recently, chief executive officer. Priszm is the master franchisee for KFC in Canada, employs more than 9,000 people, and owns and operates 465 quick service and quick casual restaurants (KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut) across Canada. During his tenure at Priszm, Mr. O'Neill oversaw the doubling of the very successful KFC/Taco Bell multi-brand concept to over 100 stores, as well as significant new product innovation aimed at doubling the sandwich and snacking segments within the KFC Brand in Canada. Prior to joining Priszm, Mr. O'Neill held senior positions with some of the world's most recognized brand names, including President of Pepsi Cola Canada, where he oversaw a period of exceptional growth in market share, brand innovation, and profitability.
Jeff O'Neill, chief executive officer of Einstein Noah, said, "I am excited to be joining Einstein Noah at this time, to build on past accomplishments, and to work with the team to develop new and exciting business building initiatives designed to drive incremental sales and profitability across the company."
Nelson Heumann, chairman of the board of Einstein Noah, said, "We are pleased to welcome Jeff to Einstein Noah as chief executive officer and board member. Jeff shares our excitement for the company and appreciates the opportunity we have as a leader in the quick casual segment. We look forward to leveraging his vast industry experience as we execute our plan and lay the groundwork for Einstein Noah's bright future." Heumann continued, "On behalf of the entire board of directors, I would also like to thank Paul Murphy for providing his leadership to the company for more than 16 years. Paul has decided to make a change and has worked closely with the board to ensure a smooth transition. We are proud of what he has accomplished at Einstein Noah in positioning our brands for success, and we wish him well in the future."
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group is a leading company in the quick casual restaurant industry that operates locations primarily under the Einstein Bros.(R) Bagels and Noah's New York Bagels(R) brands and primarily franchises locations under the Manhattan Bagel(R) brand. The company's retail system consists of more than 600 restaurants, including more than 100 license locations, in 36 states plus the District of Columbia. It also operates a dough production facility. The company's stock is traded under the symbol BAGL.
SOURCE Einstein Noah Restaurant Group