Reporter's Notebook

At Kona Grill: Word perfect

When departure wording goes beyond "resigned for personal reasons"

When restaurant executives “resign for personal reasons,” observers generally consider it code for underlying disagreements that the company doesn’t want to air publicly.

But the recent executive churn at Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Kona Grill produced some wording in Securities and Exchange Commission filings that went beyond the usual in the case of Michael A. Nahkunst, who left the 23-unit casual-dining chain in January.

In a section entitled “non-disparagement,” Kona Grill went beyond the norm and raised a few eyebrows by stating:

“If asked, Mr. Nahkunst will say that he resigned for personal reasons. Only if he is asked to elaborate, he may state only that it was not health related and that he had a personal disagreement with the board. Otherwise, he will not expand any such statement beyond the statements included in Kona’s press release dated January 31, 2012.”

Contact Ron Ruggless at ronald.ruggless@penton.com.
Follow him on Twitter: @RonRuggless

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