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Brinker CEO to step down, replacement named

DALLAS (AP) -- Brinker International Inc. said Thursday that its CEO will step down after a 35-year career with the company and be replaced by the current president of its Chili's Grill & Bar brand.

The Dallas-based restaurant company, which also owns the Maggiano's Little Italy brand, said Wyman Roberts will take over as CEO effective Jan. 1. Current CEO Doug Brooks, 60, will continue to serve as chairman through the end of 2013.

In addition to his new job, Roberts will remain president of the Chili's brand, Brinker said.

Roberts joined the company seven years ago and was named to his current position in 2009. He has also served as the company's chief marketing officer and president of the Maggiano's brand.

Before joining Brinker, Roberts was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for NBC's Universal Parks & Resorts. He also spent 17 years at Darden Restaurants Inc., which owns Olive Garden and Red Lobster.

Brinker's shares fell 20 cents to $30.47.