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MELVILLE, N.Y. -- Sbarro Inc., the pizza-centered Italian restaurant chain based here appointed veteran restaurant industry executive Michael P. O'Donnell chief executive on Sept. 3.
According to Newsday, O'Donnell's appointment is the first non-family member to hold the post at the privately held company. He succeeds Mario Sbarro, who remains chairman of the company.
Sbarro disclosed the appointment in a filing made on Sept. 16 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Although private, Sbarro has publicly traded debt securities.
The appointment comes at a time when Sbarro is struggling with declining sales due to reduced traffic at malls and airports.
Sbarro's sales in its most recent quarter were $72 million, down 9.2 percent from the same period in 2002. Same-store sales at company-owned restaurants were down 3.9 percent compared to the same period in 2002.
O'Donnell, 47, of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was an industry consultant for the past year and is a former top executive with Outback Steakhouses, Ale House Restaurants, Ground Round Restaurants and TGI Fridays.
At Outback, O'Donnell was president and chief executive of Roy's, a Hawaiian-style restaurant operated as a joint venture between Outback and Roy Yamaguchi. He also was chief executive and president for all of Outback's new businesses.
He serves on the board of directors at Champps Entertainment, a Littleton, Colo.-based restaurant chain, and of Boston Inner City Schools.
According to the SEC filing, O'Donnell will be paid $450,000 a year and an annual bonus of at least $112,000 in his first year.
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