Famous Dave’s Fires President Soon After CEO Resigns

Less than a month after the company’s CEO resigned, Famous Dave’s chose to fire its president and chief operating officer.

Christopher O’Donnell, the president and chief operating officer of the Minnetonka-based barbecue restaurant chain Famous Dave’s of America, Inc., is set to be terminated at the end of the month, according to a regulatory filing made Tuesday.
Before assuming his role as president, O’Donnell was CEO of the company for four years, until John Gilbert III replaced him in October 2012. Prior to that, O’Donnell had worked in various positions at the company for 15 years.
Gilbert was only CEO of the company for about 16 months until he resigned without explanation about three weeks ago. Ed Rensi, who joined the company’s board about two months ago, replaced Gilbert.
According to the filing, O’Donnell will be let go effective March 31. No reason was given for O’Donnell’s termination, just as with Gilbert’s resignation.
Famous Dave’s could not be immediately reached Tuesday for comment on the termination.
In related news, Wallace Doolin—the former CEO of Buca, Inc., which owns Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo—said in late February that he would not seek re-election to Famous Dave’s board at the company’s next annual shareholders’ meeting. He had served on the board since 2009.