Texas Roadhouse (TXRH) - Get Report founder and CEO Kent Taylor died by suicide last week after battling "unbearable" symptoms following a case of COVID-19, including tinnitus, the company and his family said in a joint statement.
Taylor was 65 years old.
“After a battle with post-Covid related symptoms, including severe tinnitus, Kent Taylor took his own life,” the statement provided to the Louisville Courier Journal said. “Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable.”
Taylor founded the restaurant chain in 1993 and most recently was its CEO and chairman. During the pandemic, he donated his entire compensation to support the company’s front-line workers, and recently committed to fund a clinical study to help members of the military who also suffer from tinnitus, according to the statement.
Tinnitus is a ringing or noise in the ears even when there’s no audible external sound. The American Tinnitus Association said the chronic condition is exacerbated by increased stress and anxiety, which are at unprecedented levels due to the pandemic.
The Louisville-based company named its president, Jerry Morgan, as new CEO on Friday. Taylor died last Thursday.
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of Kent Taylor. He founded Texas Roadhouse and dedicated himself to building it into a legendary experience for 'Roadies' and restaurant guests alike," Greg Moore, lead director, said in a separate statement.
At last check, shares of Texas Roadhouse were down 1.65% at $94.13. The stock has tripled in the past 12 months.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
📞 800-273-TALK (8255)
📞 TTY: 800-799-4TTY (4889)