Friendly Ice Cream (FRN) President and Chief Executive John L. Cutter has resigned to pursue other interests.

Chairman Donald N. Smith is assuming oversight responsibilities on a temporary basis as the company seeks a replacement, the family restaurant operator said in a press release.

Cutter has been the company's chief executive and president since February 2003.

"The Board and I appreciate John's many contributions to the company and wish him well," Smith said.

Shares of Friendly were recently off 18 cents to $10.02

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