BBQ Holdings Inc. announced this week that its chief financial officer, Paul Malazita, is leaving the company for another opportunity.
It is further shake-up in the senior management office of the Minnetonka-based barbecue restaurant owner and franchiser that, until recently, was known as Famous Dave’s of America Inc.
The company changed its name and corporate structure earlier this year. The company explained the name change and new holding company structure by saying it will create flexibility to purchase and run other restaurant concepts beyond Famous Dave’s.
The company last year turned a profit after three straight annual losses. But for six years, revenue has declined and Famous Dave’s churned through executives, strategies and menu selection. The new CFO will be the company’s fourth since 2014.
Malazita’s last day as CFO at BBQ Holdings will be Nov. 15. The company said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has begun a search for a new CFO.
Malazita leaves after a little more than a year and half as CFO. He joined the company in March 2017 as senior manager of corporate accounting. Malazita was promoted to CFO when Dexter Newman resigned in Feb. 2018.
Before joining BBQ Holdings, Malazita was manager of financial reporting at Digiliti Money Inc.
Much of the management turnover at BBQ Holdings/Famous Dave’s has been in the top spot. The company had five chief executives from 2012 to 2017, none staying longer than 18 months, until Jeffery Crivello was named CEO in November 2017.
Since 2012 the company has also had a number of CFOs as well. Newman was CFO from April 2016 to March 2018; Richard Pawlowski was CFO from June 2014 to April 2016. Diana Purcell was CFO from 2003 to 2014.
Shares of BBQ Holdings are up 10% year-to-date and have traded in the range of $3.60 to $6.32 over the last 52 weeks.
As of September, there were 134 Famous Dave’s locations in 33 states and three countries including 33 company-owned and 101 franchise-operated restaurants. The company also owns one Clark Crew BBQ restaurant in Oklahoma City.
It is also experimenting with a smaller-format locations that place a heavier emphasis on takeout. One is expected to open at 800 W. Lake St. in December.