Potbelly names new CEO amid strategic review

Potbelly has appointed Alan Johnson, a former BevMo! CEO, to be its new president and CEO amid the restaurant chain’s ongoing strategic review, the company announced Friday afternoon.

Johnson, 58, will replace interim CEO Michael Coyne, who will continue to serve as the company’s chief financial officer. Johnson has for the past two years worked as a strategic consultant to companies in transition, according to the company news release. Prior to that, he was CEO of BevMo!, the California-based liquor store chain, for more than eight years.

“I am enthusiastic about supporting the Board’s evaluation of strategic options to maximize shareholder value and look forward to engaging with our shareholders, employees, franchisees, and customers as we chart the optimal future course for Potbelly,” Johnson said in the news release.

Johnson will make a base salary of $750,000 in addition to stock and stock option benefits. He’s also eligible for performance-related bonuses, according to the company filing.

Potbelly announced in August that it was considering strategic business alternatives, including selling itself. Despite its ardent fans, the company has failed to achieve significant earnings or sales growth due to sluggish customer traffic and heightened competition in the industry.

Johnson also previously held executive positions at PepsiCo and Pizza Hut International.

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