Meet Our Leadership
Their mission is clear.
Make it fresh, fun and memorable. And above all, make 'em smile.
President, Chief Executive Officer and Director
G.J. Hart has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Red Robin since September 2022 and has served on the Board of Directors since August 2019. A highly regarded executive with approximately 35 years in the restaurant industry, including both public and private company experience, G.J. is well known for his organizational leadership skills, commitment to profitable growth, and ability to drive long term shareholder value.
G.J. most recently served as Chief Executive Officer of Torchy’s Tacos from 2018 until 2021, a privately-held fast-casual concept with more than 100 locations. He was previously the Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of California Pizza Kitchen from 2011 to 2018, where he was responsible for its “Next Chapter” of growth with a program that infused a fresh, contemporary look, innovative menu, world-class service model and generated higher per store average sales and profitability. From 2000 to 2011, G.J. served as President of Texas Roadhouse Holdings, LLC and as Chief Executive Officer and member of the board from 2004 to 2011, where he oversaw unprecedented growth and expanded the business from 60 locations to over 450 restaurants in 49 states and two international markets, while increasing revenues from $63 million to over $1 billion. Earlier in his career, G.J. held leadership positions at Al Copeland Investments, TriFoods International, New Zealand Lamb Company, and Shenandoah Valley Poultry, among others.
G.J.’s favorite Red Robin burger is the Whiskey River BBQ Burger.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
As CFO, Todd is responsible for all Red Robin financial disciplines including accounting, financial planning & analysis, tax, treasury, and investor relations.
Prior to joining Red Robin, from 2018 to 2022, Todd served as the CFO for Hopdoddy Burger Bar, a privately held L Catterton Growth portfolio company, where he engineered significant operating margin expansion, doubled unit count through organic growth & acquisition, and completed two successful debt refinancings. From 2016 to 2018, Todd was VP Finance for Jamba Juice, leading finance & investor relations, and spearheading the process that culminated in a successful strategic sale of the company. Prior to that, he served in progressive financial leadership roles at Bloomin’ Brands from 2006 to 2016. In his final 4 years at Bloomin’, Todd served as Division CFO and VP Finance for Carrabba’s Italian Grill leading the brand to record sales and profitability in his final year.
Todd earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida and a Master of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Finance from the University of South Florida. Todd enjoys wake surfing in the summer and snow skiing in the winter, with his daughter Ava and son Zac.
Todd’s favorite burger is the Royal Red Robin.
Chief Legal Officer
Sarah was named Chief Legal Officer in December 2022. She is no stranger to Red Robin as she previously worked with the company from 2011 to 2021. During those 10 years, she held the roles of Associate General Counsel and Vice President – Deputy General Counsel. Prior to joining Red Robin Sarah worked for the law firm of Holme, Roberts, & Owen (now Bryan Cave). She started her career as a Law Clerk with Krendl, Krendl, & Schnoff in 2006. Most recently, Sarah has been the SVP Deputy General Counsel for Skillsoft a learning application and technology company based in Denver.
Sarah holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan in Economics. She also holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Denver. Sarah brings a wealth of legal experience and executive leadership know-how to Red Robin. Sara lives in Denver with her husband Matt (also a lawyer), young children Maddie, 10, and Mira, 5 and family dog, Penny. Her family enjoys time in the mountains, skiing, and Saturdays that are full of multiple soccer games and monkey bars at the park.
Sarah’s favorite burger is the Smoke and Pepper Burger
Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer
Kevin Mayer was named Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) by Red Robin in May, 2023. As CMO, he is responsible for overseeing Brand Management, Marketing, Product Innovation, Database and Digital Marketing, and Social and Earned Media.
Prior to joining Red Robin, Kevin earned notoriety for leading successful brand revivals in the automotive and hospitality industries. As EVP, Chief Growth and Brand Officer at BJ’s Restaurants, he played a crucial role in transforming the brand and its marketing capabilities, driving it from a regional casual dining player to a nationally recognized lifestyle brand resulting in an all-time share price in 2018. Kevin has held senior roles at global consumer brands such as VP Marketing for Volkswagen, Director of Advertising & Promotion for Chevrolet Global and Director of Advertising for Subaru of America. His teams have won numerous Cannes Lions, Effies and Kevin himself was named 2013 Adweek's "Brand Genius". He developed his skills early in his career with roles in numerous advertising agencies.
Kevin earned a B.A. from Purdue University and an M.B.A. in Marketing Science from UCLA's Anderson School of Management. He resides in Los Angeles, begs for time with his two teenagers Calissa and Nathan, and spends his free time surfing, exercising, and playing guitar — often pretending he is David Grohl or Lenny Kravitz to the chagrin of his neighbors. His favorite Red Robin menu item is the Tycoon Burger.
Chief Business Development Officer
Jason Rusk oversees Real Estate and Development, Supply Chain, Franchise, Off-Premise, and future Growth Channels for Red Robin. During his more than 25 years with the brand, Jason has served in key roles across operations, franchise, marketing, branding and new restaurant development. Most recently he served as SVP of Transformation and Business Development, where he guided priority business initiatives including culinary upgrades, cost of goods improvements and new unit growth through franchise and corporate locations. Jason spearheaded Red Robin’s foray into on-demand services including delivery, online ordering and automated intelligence, as well as significant growth in Catering and Events that led to a more than tripling in sales in the past several years. In addition, Jason led the launch and expansion of Red Robin’s successful partnership with Donatos, providing highly incremental sales and traffic growth. The Donatos “nested” menu within participating Red Robin locations continues to outperform across key metrics while rounding out Red Robin’s Americana menu. Among his current responsibilities, Jason and his team are leading the strategy for the Red Robin restaurant of the future, from new prototype and interior design to in-restaurant experience.
Jason has truly learned the industry from the ground up. With his knowledge of Red Robin’s history, a proven track record of evolving the brand and an eye toward the future, he is inspiring the next generation of Red Robin leaders. His favorite Red Robin menu item is the Whiskey River BBQ Burger.
Interim Chief People Officer
Mark Simpson has served as Interim Chief People Officer at Red Robin since May 2023. A hospitality industry veteran, Mark brings 35 years of experience to Red Robin where he will provide senior leadership on key people initiatives and assist in the search for Red Robin’s permanent CPO. Mark recently retired from Texas Roadhouse (NASDAQ: TXRH), where he served as Vice President of Legendary People for many years and assisted in guiding the success of the company’s growth and award-winning culture, including administering its operations-focused market & managing partner program, executive and senior-level staffing, benefits & compensation, field HR and employee relations, HR administration and more. Prior to that, Mark served in senior HR roles with Al Copeland Investments, Tia’s Tex-Mex (Ruby Tuesday Inc.) and Peasant Restaurants (Quantum/Morton’s Restaurant Group). In addition, Mark has served on the boards of the Multicultural Foodservice and Hospitality Alliance, the National Council of Chain Restaurants and the Kentucky Restaurant Association.
Mark is a graduate of Louisiana State University. His favorite Red Robin menu item is a Red’s Double with Bacon.