Daily News: March 6, 2012

Victory Park Capital Appoints New Management for Giordano’s

Victory Park Capital announced the appointment of new management for Giordano’s, a casual dining brand, as part of an overall business restructuring plan. The appointments, effective immediately, follow the purchase of the pizza chain out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November 2011 by VPC, the alternative asset-management firm, which provides direct financing to small cap and middle-market companies.

The new top management of Giordano’s are:

CEO Yorgo Koutsogiorgas will assume the senior leadership position for the Giordano’s organization as he and the team work to revitalize the menu offerings and position the company for the next chapter of exciting growth. Koutsogiorgas, who has more than 25 years of restaurant industry experience. Most recently, he was a co-founder and partner of Go Roma, an Italian restaurant group in the Chicagoland area. Previously, Koutsogiorgas was a partner and vice president of operations at Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, where he managed operations and was Chief People Officer at Maggiano’s Little Italy. There, he developed a strong culture centered on people, food and hospitality.

Chief financial officer Brent Johnson with responsibility for Giordano’s finance and accounting functions, will provide valuable leadership and best practices for improving the operations of Giordano’s. Johnson has more than 20 years of experience and leadership in financial operations and in leadership roles with large public, mid-cap private equity, growth-minded and financially distressed companies.

Formerly, Johnson served as vice president of financial planning, business analysis and strategy at Culligan International and vice president of finance at Movie Gallery. Previous to that, he held several leadership positions at Yum! Brands and most recently was vice president of planning and strategy at Yum! Restaurants International.

“The Giordano’s brand will benefit greatly under this new leadership team,” said Richard Levy, managing partner of Victory Park Capital. “Combined, Yorgo and Brent have spent more than 50 years in the restaurant and hospitality industry. Their proven track records will be invaluable in executing the operational changes and business strategy to reposition Giordano’s for long-term growth while preserving its unique brand philosophy and superior customer experience, a hallmark of Giordano’s for the past 40 years. In addition, we look forward to adding some additional talent in the next few months that will further enhance the strengths of this management team.”

Previously on abfjournal.com:

Hilco Real Estate, William Blair Complete Giordano’s Sale, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Court OKs Giordano’s Sale to Victory Park’s VPC Pizza Holdings, Monday, November 21, 2011