Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
David Overton has served as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated since its incorporation in February 1992. David co-founded The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated’s predecessor company in 1972 with his parents, Oscar and Evelyn Overton. Since our initial public offering in 1992, David Overton has led our Company from revenues of $52 million to revenues of $1.97 billion in 2014, representing a compound annual growth rate of approximately 18%.
Mr. Overton’s professional honors include the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association “Silver Plate Award,” recognizing the most outstanding and innovative talent in foodservice operations; the “Executive of the Year Award” from Restaurants & Institutions Magazine; the “MenuMasters Hall of Fame Award” from Nation’s Restaurant News, for his outstanding contributions to menu design and foodservice research and development, and the “Entrepreneur of the Year” in the Food Services category for the Los Angeles region by Ernst & Young, for his demonstrated excellence and extraordinary success in innovation, performance and personal commitment to The Cheesecake Factory and the communities our restaurants serve. In 2013, Mr. Overton was honored with the Leadership Roundtable-Industry Leadership Award. Mr. Overton is also one of the founding members and directors of The Cheesecake Factory Oscar and Evelyn Overton Charitable Foundation (“Foundation”), a 501(c)(3) qualified, non-profit charitable organization which raises funds for a variety of worthy causes and provides a means for the Company’s staff members to perform charitable work in their communities.
David M. Gordon
David Gordon was appointed President of the Company in February 2013. David joined our Company in 1993 as a Manager and during his 20 years with The Cheesecake Factory, held operational positions including General Manager, Area Director of Operations, Regional Vice President and most recently, Chief Operating Officer.
W. Douglas Benn
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
W. Douglas Benn was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in 2009. Mr. Benn is a veteran of the restaurant industry having spent more than 20 years in management roles with restaurant companies. Prior to joining the Company, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of RARE Hospitality International, owner of the LongHorn Steakhouse and The Capital Grille concepts, prior to that company’s sale to Darden Restaurants in 2007. During his ten years with RARE, Mr. Benn helped grow the company to over 300 units and over $1 billion in annual revenues.
Debby R. Zurzolo
Executive Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel
Debby Zurzolo joined our Company as Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 1999 and was appointed to her current position in 2003. From 1982 until joining the Company, she practiced real estate and business law at Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP in Los Angeles, California. As a partner with that firm, Ms. Zurzolo represented us on various real estate and other business matters.
Max S. Byfuglin
President, The Cheesecake Factory Bakery Incorporated
Max Byfuglin joined our bakery operations in 1982 and worked closely with our founders, serving in nearly every capacity in our bakery operations over the past 30 years.