Del Frisco’s CFO Tom Pennison leaves at short notice

  • Signs for push-out forces
  • After almost six years on the job
  • Laud, praise, thanks and good wishes for Pennison
  • Neil Thomson taking over

(exechange) — Southlake, Texas, May 08, 2017 — Tom Pennison, finance chief of Del Frisco’s, leaves. It is a change at short notice. As announced by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Monday, May 08, 2017, Thomas J. (Tom) Pennison leaves the post as Chief Financial Officer at the steakhouse restaurant chain company in a surprising move after almost six years on the job, effective May 22, 2017.

Pennison’s move comes six months after Norman J. Abdallah took over as CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc.

Pennison’s duties are taken over by Neil Thomson, most recently Chief Growth Officer of the Pizza Hut Asia Pacific region at Yum! Brands, Inc.

The fact that Pennison’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

In general, an outsider doesn’t have the constraints of an insider when it comes to leading painful changes or making unpopular decisions.

No reason given

In the announcement, Del Frisco’s did not explicitly explain the reason for Pennison’s imminent move, leaving room for speculation.

Precise information about the future plans of Pennison was not immediately available.


Del Frisco’s said: “With Mr. Thomson’s appointment, Del Frisco’s has formally accepted the resignation of Tom Pennison.”

Del Frisco’s further said: “Mr. Pennison, who delivered his notice of resignation on May 3, 2017, will remain with the Company through the end of May to assist in the transition process.”

Share price decline

The change follows a decline in the share price of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. since June 2014.

Chaired by Ian R. Carter

Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. is chaired by Ian R. Carter.

Carter has served as Chairman of the Board of Directors since April 2015.

CEO: Norman J. Abdallah

Norman J. Abdallah serves as CEO of Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group, Inc. Abdallah has served as Chief Executive Officer since November 2016.

On the job as CFO since 2011

Pennison has served as Chief Financial Officer since November 2011.

Prior to Del Frisco’s, he served as Chief Financial Officer for iSeatz Inc., a customized software technology company primarily serving the travel and leisure industry, from 2009 to 2011.

Pennison also operated his own financial consulting firm in Louisiana from 2008 to 2009 where he provided financial and business consulting services to clients in the hospitality and other consumer and retail related industries.

Prior to that, Pennison spent 12 years at Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc., a restaurant company focused exclusively on the upscale dining segment, formerly known as Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Inc., from 1996 to 2008 serving in various capacities, including Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Additionally, from 1994 to 1996, he served as Assistant Corporate Controller of Casino Magic Corp., with primary responsibilities for corporate finance and SEC reporting, and from 1991 to 1994, Pennison was at the public accounting firm KPMG LLP.

He is a member of the Financial Executive Institute and the Louisiana Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Signs for push-out forces

It is not completely certain what forces eventually triggered Tom Pennison’s imminent move.

The Push-out Score™ determined by exechange suggests that push-out forces may have contributed to the management change.

Read the full story in the exechange report 20.2017 ($).