Ruby Tuesday Inc. (RT) said Wednesday that Sandy Beall, the company’s founder, chairman and chief executive, will step down.

The board said it has launched a committee to oversee the succession process and will retain an executive search firm immediately.

Beall, who opened the restaurant chain’s first location in Knoxville, Tenn., 40 years ago, will take time off to “pursue personal ventures” according to a statement.

“We have plans in place to strengthen the Ruby Tuesday brand, grow our emerging brands, and have a capital structure that allows our team to execute on our plans to create value for our shareholders,” Beall said in a release.

The casual dining chain operates 740 Ruby Tuesday restaurants and 85 franchise locations and also operates Lime Fresh Mexican Grill and Marlin & Ray’s restaurants.

Shares of Ruby Tuesday rose 9 cents, or 1.3%, in Wednesday’s session.