Sbarro Lures Greco, New Board Members for Italian Eatery's Turnaround


Sbarro has big plans for a turnaround as evident by its announcement that it will pick well-known industry leader, James Greco as its president and CEO effective immediately. It also names J. David Karam, formerly president of Wendy's International, to its Board of Directors, along with Desmond Hague, chief executive of Centerplate, and David Wiggins, a turnaround expert.

J. David Karam will be chairman of the Sbarro board. Greco takes over for Nicky McGrane, interim president and CEO.

James "Jim" Greco, 54, needs little introduction among industry insiders, having been integral in the success of the Bruegger's Bagel brand as its chief executive after its acquisition by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners. He later joined Groupe Le Duff, S.A., after it acquired the more than 300-unit bagel chain from Sun Capital.

Le Duff later created Le Duff America to oversee La Madeleine French Country Cafe, Bruegger's Enterprises, Timothy's World Coffee and the Brioche Doree chains in North America, and Greco was named co-CEO.

In 2009, Greco was Nation’s Restaurant News' Operator of the Year. Prior to working with Bruegger's Bagels, he was the seven-year chief of Fieldbrook Foods Corporation and COO of Natural Country Farms for five years.

Greco will lead an Italian-style concept with over 1,000 locations in over 40 countries.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead and grow Sbarro,” said Greco in a statement. “As the company’s recent performance demonstrates, this is an iconic brand with a strong foundation upon which we can build.”

J. David Karam, 53, will take over the chairman position from Michael Feder, a managing director at Alix Partners, a leading management consulting firm. Sbarro execs say that Feder will continue as an advisor to the company. Karam was instrumental in the recent turnaround of Wendy's abroad. Prior to his corporate position, he was president of Cedar Enterprises, a Wendy’s franchisee.

Cedar operates 150 Wendy’s restaurants in Indianapolis, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Hartford and Seattle. He was also recently inducted into Wendy’s Hall of Fame.

Desmond Hague is President and CEO of Centerplate,  a large North American hospitality business operating in more than 40 states within convention centers, and the sports and entertainment industries.

David Wiggins will be expected to bring his turnaround management expertise to the table, having worked as an operating advisor for several portfolio companies acquired by Pegasus Capital Advisors, L.P. since 1998. He's been Chairman and CEO of Hain Pure Protein Corporation, President and CEO of Halo Purely for Pets, and Chairman and CEO of Salerno Plastics Corporation.

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Copyright: Kandessa Media. All rights reserved. 

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