NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Shares of Brinker International traded sharply lower Friday morning after the restaurant operator behind Chili's restaurants said its CFO is stepping down.

Brinker said late Thursday that CFO Charles M. Sonsteby will resign, effective Oct. 1, to take an executive position with a private retail company.
Chili's

The current senior vice president of finance and CFO of Chili's, Guy Constant, will take on the responsibilities of executive vice president and CFO.

Constant has been with Brinker since 2004. Sonsteby had been at Brinker for 20 years, serving as CFO since 2001.

Brinker shares lost 6.5% in the first hour of trading Friday on higher-than-average volume.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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