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Cheesecake Factory promotes insider to president

CALABASAS HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- The Cheesecake Factory Inc. said Tuesday that it named David M. Gordon as president of the restaurant chain.

Gordon, 48, joined the company in 1993 and served most recently as chief operating officer of The Cheesecake Factory and Grand Lux Cafe restaurants. Effective immediately, Gordon replaces Michael Jannini, who left the company to pursue other interests.

Cheesecake Factory Chairman and CEO David Overton said that Gordon has been instrumental in driving the company's restaurant operations to be more efficient and effective, and played an important role in the company's international expansion.

"In the past four years under David's leadership, restaurant-level margins grew significantly, as did our guest satisfaction scores, demonstrating his ability to balance our goals of delivering an exceptional experience to our guests and running a profitable business," Overton said in a statement.

Cheesecake Factory also said Tuesday that it has named Spero Alex as senior vice president of operations of The Cheesecake Factory restaurants. The 24-year veteran of the company worked most recently as East Coast regional vice president.

The company, based in Calabasas Hills, Calif., operates 177 restaurants in the U.S. Its brands include The Cheesecake Factory, Grand Lux Cafe and RockSugar Pan Asian Kitchen. It also has three Cheesecake Factory restaurants operating overseas under a licensing agreement.

Shares of Cheesecake Factory stock added 25 cents to close at $33.32.