Benjamin Moore & Co. announced that Robert S. (Bob) Merritt was named chief executive officer and president of the paint manufacturer, replacing Denis Abrams who headed the company for seven years.
“Benjamin Moore is an icon of American industry and a valued heritage brand among paint and coatings products,” said Merritt. “I look forward to the challenges ahead, building on the company’s successful history, and helping to prepare it for the next 50 years.”
Merritt takes over Benjamin Moore with over three decades of management experience in the restaurant and food preparation and distribution industries. As senior vice president and CFO of the Outback Steakhouse Inc., he oversaw the initial public offering in 1991 of that franchise and its subsequent listing on the New York Stock Exchange. Under his stewardship, the company grew from five restaurants in Florida to over 1,250 locations in 22 countries. The original Outback brand also expanded during Merritt’s tenure to seven additional restaurant concepts, including Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill, Roy’s, and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. When working for Price Waterhouse, Merritt had clients in various industries including a large railroad, a plumbing supply manufacturer and distributor and a manufacturer of medical imaging equipment.
Merritt is a native of Washington, D.C. and attended George Washington University where he received a B.B.A. in accounting. The father of twin sons, he resides in New York with his wife.