Skip to main content

Doug Brooks ('75)

Retired CEO, President & Chairman of the Board
Brinker International 

Lectured April 8, 2010

Doug Brooks is the former chairman, president and CEO of Brinker International, one of the world's leading casual dining restaurant companies. Brinker's portfolio includes Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy. As of July 2010, Brinker owns or franchises more than 1,500 restaurants in 30 countries and two territories and has more than 100,000 team members. 

Under Doug's leadership, Brinker International won numerous honors. These awards include the following: one of the World's Most Admired Food Services Companies, one of the Top Companies for Women and one of the Top 30 Companies for Minorities, all by Fortune magazine; one of the 400 Best Companies in America by Forbes magazine; one of the Top 100 U.S. Retailers by the National Retail Federation; one of the Top 100 Companies for Blacks in Corporate America by Savoy magazine; one of America's Most Shareholder-Friendly Companies by Institutional Investor magazine and a Best Place to Work from Chain Leader magazine. The company also won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among other accolades.

Doug earned a Bachelor of Science in Hotel and Restaurant Management from the University of Houston in 1975 and joined Chili's in February 1978 as a manager at the company's original location on Greenville Avenue in Dallas. He rose through the ranks at Chili's, holding numerous positions including general manager, area director and regional vice president. Doug was named president of the brand in 1994. 

In January 1999, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Brinker International. In 2004, he also became CEO and chairman of the board. 

Doug serves or has served on the board of directors for Romano's Macaroni Grill, Limbs For Life Foundation, Kenny Can Foundation, Southwest Airlines, Dallas Citizens Council and the AT&T Performing Arts Center. He also serves on the professional advisory board of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. 

Doug won the Nation's Restaurant News Golden Chain Award in 2003 and the Workforce Legacy Award from the People Report in 2009. He is the first Hilton College alumnus to be inducted into the Hospitality Industry Hall of Honor.

Beyond the restaurant business and his community activities, Doug spends time with his wife, Holly, and their two adult sons, Taylor and Kyle.