Ruby Tuesday founder to step down as CEO

AP News
Posted: Jun 06, 2012 5:52 PM

Ruby Tuesday Inc.'s founder will resign as CEO and from the restaurant chain's board after 40 years with the company.

The company has no replacement for Sandy Beall, but will begin a search for his successor immediately with the help of an executive search firm. Beall says he will stay on as CEO, president and chairman until the board finds the right candidate.

Beall says he wants time off to pursue other interests.

Ruby Tuesday, based in Maryville, Tenn., owns 740 namesake restaurants and has 85 franchises. Like many casual dining chains, it has struggled to regain its footing over the past few years as consumers cut back on spending or opted for lower-priced alternatives.

Weak sales trends shrank profit in the company's December-February quarter, and it offered a disappointing outlook for the year that ended in May.

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To revive growth, the company has been revamping its marketing, cutting costs and closing weaker stores. It recently bought Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a burrito chain with locations in Florida and a few other states.

Shares closed up 9 cents at $6.89 Wednesday.