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Scottsdale-based Kona Grill fires CEO after 3 months on job

(Yelp Photo)

PHOENIX — Scottsdale-based restaurant chain Kona Grill has replaced its CEO with one of its founders and another businessman, the company said.

Jim Kuhn had stepped into the CEO role in August. The board of directors announced Thursday that Kuhn would be succeeded by Marcus Jundt, who had been CEO from 2006 to 2009 and had helped launch the restaurant, and Steven Schussler. The two will act as co-CEOs.

Schussler helped create the theme restaurant Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex Cafe, among others.

Both have been on the Kona Grill board.

Kuhn’s leaving came on the heels of a 14 percent drop in sales.

“The Board of Directors believes that the combined leadership and experience of Marcus and Steve will revitalize the Kona Grill brand as we focus on what has made this brand successful over the years,” Berke Bakay, executive chairman of the board said in statement online.

“We thank Jim Kuhn for his time with the Company and wish him well in his future endeavors,” Bakay said.

The chain operates 44 grill-sushi bar eateries in the United States — five in the Phoenix area.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Kona Grill working with the team and wish the Company all the best in the future,” Kuhn said in a statement.

He had been with the company since December, first as chief operating officer.

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