Former Red Robin CEO fatally shoots himself in his own front yard, age 68, just over a decade after he was ousted from burger chain for misusing funds
- Michael J. Snyder, 68, died of a self-inflicted gunshot on Sunday in Washington
- He was the CEO of the Red Robin restaurant chain from 2000 to 2005
- The married businessman was ousted after an investigation found he had misused funds and failed to properly document business trips on charter jets
- Reportedly remained the largest individual shareholder of the Red Robin
- Snyder and his brothers were the first franchisees of the burger chain, opening a Red Robin franchise in Yakima in 1979
The former CEO of the Red Robin restaurant chain has killed himself aged 68.
Michael J. Snyder committed suicide on Sunday with a high-powered gun on a bench in the front yard of his home in Washington state, the Yakima County coroner’s office told TMZ.
No suicide note was found, and police found the body in response to a 911 call, said Chief Deputy Coroner Marshall Slight.
Snyder and his brothers were the first franchisees of the burger chain, opening a Red Robin franchise in Yakima in 1979.
Michael J. Snyder (above in 2004) committed suicide on Sunday with a high-powered gun on a bench in the front yard of his home in Washington state. He was the former CEO of Red Robin
They went on to open 14 locations in Washington, Colorado and Idaho, and Snyder became CEO when his franchisee company merged with the Red Robin International in 2000.
Snyder was was ousted in 2005 over an investigation that found he had misused funds and failed to properly document business trips on charter jets.
He reportedly remained the single largest individual Red Robin shareholder, with a 6.6 per cent stake in 2007 that would be worth about $29 million today.
Upon news of Snyder’s death, friends and former colleagues offered tributes on Facebook.
Snyder is seen with his wife during their anniversary dinner in September
‘I worked with Mike at Red Robin. What a awesome person to work for. We have lost a great man,’ wrote Kim Johnson Dauenhauer.
‘Mike was the best Boss to work for! Taught me so much not only about business but about life,’ wrote John Thomas. ‘My favorite line when we would walk into a high level meeting when we were building Red Robins. He would always introduce himself as ‘Mike Snyder…. Fertilizer.”
Colorado-based Red Robin has 566 locations in North America, including 480 company-owned restaurants located in 39 states and two Canadian provinces, and 86 franchise locations.
For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255