published Friday, January 10th, 2014

Craftsworks Restaurants and Breweries names Srinivas Kumar new CEO

The former head of Pearle Vision, Srinivas Kumar, will head CraftWorks Restaurants and Breweries’ team, replacing Interim CEO Dick Rivera who will remain as the company's chairman.

Craftworks, the Chattanooga-based restaurant chain that operates Gordon Biersch, Rock Bottom and Big River restaurants and breweries across the country, announced the leadership change today.

“The board of directors would like to thank Dick Rivera for his service as interim CEO and we’re pleased he’ll remain chairman of the board,” said Jason Mozingo, senior managing director at Centerbridge Partners, the private equity firm that owns most of Craftsworks.

Kumar comes to CraftWorks from Luxottica where he most recently served as head of Pearle Vision, a premium optical retail chain. A veteran of the food industry, Kumar has 20 years of senior operating experience from Dunkin’ Brands where he held several positions including chief brand officer of Baskin-Robbins Worldwide.

“Kumar is focused, results driven and an innovator. His extensive experience with franchisees is a perfect fit for our business and we’re thrilled to have him at the head of our executive team,” said Rivera.

Kumar began his career in packaged goods at Unilever in Bangalore, India, holding a variety of sales and marketing roles. He transitioned to the food service industry as the operator of the Baskin-Robbins franchise in the Middle East where he grew the business to become the largest licensee in the Baskin-Robbins International world and the largest Quick Service Restaurant chain in the Middle East – more than double the number of stores of KFC or McDonald’s. Over the years, Kumar’s responsibilities grew to include Dunkin’ Brands business worldwide where he oversaw international expansion and branding efforts.

about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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