Fast Casual Cosi Searches for New Chief as Hyatt Moves On


Fast casual operator Cosi reported that Mark Demilio, chairman of the Board of Directors, will be the interim chief executive for the company, effective immediately. This follows today's resignation of James (Jim) Hyatt as president, chief executive and member of Cosi's Board. Hyatt was with the company for four years and will now pursue other opportunities related to family considerations.

Cosi operates and franchises nearly 140 stores in the United States and the Arab Emirates. Its stores feature flame stone hearth ovens, which are the focal points of the quick serve eatery's design, and its menu is typical of bakery chains ─ soups, salads and sandwiches are prominent.

Candidates for the chief executive officer (CEO) position for Cosi will be vetted through the Board's new Search Committee. Hyatt will assist in the transition process, according to a company statement, and will stay on until September 23.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Cosi recently ran into trouble with its Nasdaq listing this month when the bid price fell below $1.00 for 30 consecutive days, and was out of Nasdaq compliance. Cosi received a letter from Nasdaq under its Listing Rule 5450, indicating the company would have a grace period through February 21, 2012 to be in compliance before additional measures were taken, or its stock was reviewed for the granting of a further grace period.

The fast casual chain was also below compliance due to its securities' market value (MVLS) falling below $50 million. A recent search resulted in Cosi's stock being valued at $0.63 and a market value under $33 million.

"On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank Jim for his stewardship and for the accomplishments and improvements of the Company during his tenure," said interim CEO Demilio. "I believe Jim has helped to get the Company on the right track and we will continue to work toward improving profitability and growth."

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Source: Business Wire, Kandessa Media

Copyright: Kandessa Media. All rights reserved.

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This story appears in:  Fast Casual | Operations & People