Coby G. Brooks
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Coby George Brooks (born May 17, 1969) is the former President and CEO of Hooters, Inc. and Naturally Fresh, Inc. Brooks was promoted to these positions in 2003, three years before the death of his father, Hooters founder Robert H. Brooks.
After his father's death, Brooks gained a controlling, but not a majority, interest in his father's companies and named chairman of his father's estate. This left him embroiled in a dispute with his father's widow, Tami, over the distribution of the elder Brooks' estate. Robert Brooks left 30% of his estate to Coby, 30% to his underage daughter, Boni Bell, 10% to Clemson University, and 30% to other family members. Tami was bequeathed $1 million per year for 20 years. However, she sued the estate for the ⅓ share of the estate that would be due to her under South Carolina's elective share law. In 2009, Coby and Tami settled for an undisclosed amount, but that settlement has forced Coby to seek outside investors.
Brooks appeared on the February 14, 2010, episode of the CBS reality TV show Undercover Boss featuring Hooters. Despite first-hand knowledge of a questionable situation, Brooks allowed a manager who was demeaning and degrading to his employees to remain on staff. (The Hooters manager eventually resigned right after Hooters Magazine did a follow-up article.) Brooks left Hooters after the sale of the company in 2011 and is now a franchisee of Twin Peaks, another "breastaurant" chain; in 2013, when Twin Peaks CEO Randy DeWitt appeared on Undercover Boss, Brooks made a cameo appearance, posing as an obnoxious, antagonistic customer so DeWitt could see firsthand how his employees would react to the situation.
- David Wren. "S.C. law challenged in fight for Hooters riches". Myrtle Beach Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 2009-08-07.
- Lisa Shidler (2007-08-13). "Hooters CEO's heir challenges widow's bid for elective share". Investment News.
- Bruce Watson (2010-02-11). "Hardship at Hooters: Family Feud Drives CEO to Seek Investment Partners".
- Jamieson, Dave (30 September 2011). "Hooters Lawsuit Claims Rival Restaurant Stole "Trade Secrets"". Huff Post Business. New York: The Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
- Robinson-Jenkins, Karen (August 23, 2011). "Addison-based Twin Peaks lands ex-Hooters CEO as franchisee". The Dallas Morning News.