CEC Entertainment Announces New CFO Amid Leadership Changes

Scott Drake—a financial guru with over 30 years of experience at companies such as Farmer Bros., Gamestop, and 7-Eleven—is now the CFO of CEC Entertainment, parent company of Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza. CEC announced a retirement and three promotions.

Scott Drake has been appointed as the new executive vice president and chief financial officer of Irving-based CEC Entertainment LLC., the parent company of the Chuck E. Cheese, Peter Piper Pizza brands, and virtual kitchen concept, Pasqually’s Pizza and Wings.

CEC said that Drake brings more than 30 years of experience in financially led transformational roles impacting operations, franchising international licensing, store unit growth, and venue-level revenue management.

The company said it also named three seasoned industry executives to new leadership positions.

“Scott’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment as our business is rapidly changing with more competition, higher costs, the need for more real-time insights and effective revenue management,” David McKillips, president and CEO of CEC Entertainment, said in a statement. “I am confident and excited to see us execute on our plans this year and know we’re poised for another strong year of growth with the right leaders in place.”

CEC said Drake’s experience in the restaurant, retail, gaming, and consumer product categories will complement his new role as he will be charged with building a new revenue management strategy and team and will oversee the Company’s finance functions, internal audit, and real estate development. Most recently, Drake was CFO and treasurer of Northlake-based Farmer Bros. Co., guiding the public company through the pandemic, after a five-year run at Grapevine-based GameStop, as SVP of finance and treasurer, and he’s held other roles with Irving-based 7-Eleven, PWC, Coca-Cola Enterprises, Dallas-based La Madeleine French Bakery and Café, and Arthur Anderson.

“I am excited by the opportunity to join a company with such great leaders and iconic brands that resonate strongly to so many households,” Drake said. “I hope to leverage my experience in order to play a meaningful role in the growth trajectory as we write the next chapter for CEC Entertainment.”

Pivotal promotions

CEC said that as it adjusts to changing business trends, additional leadership changes include a new corporate structure with the appointment of Antonio Barron as VP of purchasing and games for both Chuck E. Cheese and Peter Piper Pizza, consolidating departments to accelerate game revenues and saving costs across the enterprise.

The company said his promotion comes as veteran Mike Johnson announces his retirement after leading the purchasing department on two separate occasions for a combined 26 years. Barron has been with CEC for nearly a decade, and the company said he is a proven leader. He is responsible for driving innovation within the industry and internally, spearheading the brand’s new active-play and entertainment installation strategies.

Also, CEC said that Justin Lee has been promoted to vice president of construction, design, and facilities.

Lee has led the company’s national remodel program, in what it said was one of most aggressive brand makeovers in the industry. He’s also been responsible for reducing costs on construction initiatives with creative value engineering efforts. Both Barron and Lee will continue reporting to Chief Operating Officer Randy Forsythe.

In a news release earlier this year, CEC Entertainment announced it has invested over $300 million in remodeling its Chuck E. Cheese fun centers. The renovations include vibrant décor, modern furniture, interactive multimedia experiences, large video walls, an expanded selection of games, and touchless payment options. The company aims to complete the remodeling of all centers by the end of the year.

In addition, David Deck has been promoted to executive vice president, general counsel, and chief compliance officer. He has been with CEC Entertainment for 25 years and has led its legal, franchising, and licensing efforts. Given his tenure, he is an expert in safety and security within the ever-changing family entertainment business.

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