I have just read Bruce Whitfield’s article on Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), "Fed Up with Flipping Burgers" (Money & Investing, April 9-15).

Whitfield is correct in that I might have signed the deal, but that particular deal — like all the others in my time as CEO — had the full and unqualified backing of the entire Famous Brands board. And that’s a board representative of seasoned business professionals, most with an impeccable business record of their own.

The impression constantly communicated in the media that I — on my own — was responsible for the GBK transaction is simply not accurate.

Also, I was no longer the CEO of the company at the time, but rather had been retained by the board as the group’s strategic adviser, and it was in this capacity that I was mandated to seek an offshore asset for the business at a time when the SA business world was in complete turmoil.

Of course, I am deeply saddened as to how the GBK transaction unfolded after my time, but I can honestly and sincerely say it was not through any lack of a robust and in-depth due diligence, not to mention the guidance and advice of an army of professional advisers.

Kevin Hedderwick
Business consultant and former Famous Brands CEO

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