Fogo de Chão Announces CEO Succession Plan

Larry Johnson to Retire as CEO and Become Chairman of the Board; Barry McGowan Named Chief Executive Officer

DALLAS, Dec. 18, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Fogo de Chão, Inc. (“Fogo” or the “Company”) today announced that Larry Johnson will retire from the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) on December 31, 2018, after 11 years as the Company’s CEO.  Johnson will become Chairman of the Board of Directors on that day.  Concurrently, Fogo’s current President, Barry McGowan, will become Chief Executive Officer and will join the Board of Directors.  

Under Johnson’s leadership from 2007 through 2018, the Company achieved outstanding performance and proven global portability, growing from 11 locations in the United States and Brazil to 51 locations worldwide, and increasing revenue by a factor of two and one half times, from $132 million to more than $330 million.  Johnson was also integral in leading the Company through its successful initial public offering in 2015 and subsequent “go-private” transaction earlier this year.

“Larry Johnson is an exceptional leader who has guided Fogo through extraordinary growth from a local Brazilian steakhouse to a world renowned restaurant brand,” said Eytan Tigay, Board Director and Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer of Rhône Capital, whose affiliated funds acquired Fogo in 2018.  “In that time, he also developed the foundation for long-term success, building an enduring brand and an outstanding leadership team that is poised to continue delivering superior performance.  On behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone at Fogo, we want to thank Larry for his leadership and look forward to his continued contributions as Chairman.”  

Johnson commented: “It has been my privilege and honor to be a part of the Fogo family for the past 11 years.  The time is right to pass the reins to Barry to continue to execute our shared strategic vision for this tremendous brand.  Barry’s vast operating experience and deep understanding of Fogo and its people make him the ideal choice to lead Fogo into its next phase of growth.”

“I am very pleased and honored to assume this new role,” said McGowan.  “Fogo is a unique company unlike any other in the restaurant industry, and it has been my distinct pleasure these past five years to work alongside a high-performing team of people who care about delivering an authentic, Brazilian churrasco experience that makes Fogo what it is. I thank Larry for his leadership and our collaboration, and I am confident that we are going to build upon our existing accomplishments to further elevate this iconic brand.”

About Fogo de Chão
Fogo de Chão (fogo-dee-shown) is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria,  specializing in the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meats over open flame, all of which are carved tableside by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs. Founded in Southern Brazil in 1979, there are currently 51 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, Mexico, and the Middle East.

Fogo’s distinctive and authentic Brazilian dining experience begins with the seasonal Market Table and Feijoada Bar, which includes seasonal salads, soup, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie and more. The restaurant features a variety of simply seasoned meats that are fire-roasted by gaucho chefs, plus seafood, desserts, signature cocktails and an award-winning wine list. In addition to the full churrasco experience, Fogo offers its guests multiple ways to enjoy the experience at varying price points, including weekday lunch starting at $15, weekend Brazilian Brunch and a Bar Fogo menu that features smaller, sharable plates, Brazilian-inspired cocktails and happy hour.

For an inside look into the history and heritage of the gaucho culture, visit, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

ICR for Fogo de Chão
(646) 277-1200