Darden marking chief to become Ruby Tuesday CEO

Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Darden Restaurants Chief Marketing Officer JJ Buettgen has resigned to become president and CEO of Ruby Tuesday Inc.

Buettgen will take on his roles at Ruby Tuesday on Dec. 1. He takes over from Ruby Tuesday founder Sandy Beall, whose retirement was previously announced.

"We understand and respect JJ's desire to lead an organization and we wish him well in his new endeavor," Darden President and Chief Operating Officer Drew Madsen said in a statement. Darden Restaurants Inc. owns and runs more than 2,000 restaurants, including the Olive Garden and Red Lobster chains.

Madsen said Monday that the Darden's enterprise marketing will report to him until a new chief marketing officer is appointed.

Shares of the Orlando, Fla., company gained 88 cents to $51.80 in morning trading.

Ruby Tuesday also said Monday that it named board member Matthew Drapkin as chairman, succeeding Beall.

It has Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 45 states, the District of Columbia, 12 foreign countries, and Guam. There were 712 company-owned and operated Ruby Tuesday restaurants and 78 franchised locations as of Sept. 4.

Shares of Ruby Tuesday, based in Maryville, Tenn., gained 17 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $7.40.

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