Founder of the multi-concept restaurant company leaves to pursue other opportunities.

James Gersten is the new president and chief executive officer for BR Guest Hospitality, a multi-concept operator with a portfolio of 25 restaurants and bars. Gersten replaces Stephen Hanson, who after founding and guiding BR Guest over the past 26 years is stepping down from his role to pursue other opportunities, per a company release.

Gersten brings 22 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industries to his new position, working with such concepts as Smith & Wollensky, Culinary Concepts Hospitality Group and La Esquina, a Mexican restaurant with locations in New York City's Little Italy and Brooklyn.

BR Guest's lineup of restaurants and bars include Strip House, Dos Caminos, Bill's Bar & Burger, Atlantic Grill, Blue Fin and Blue Water Grill. Collectively, BR Guest's restaurants generate about $150 million in annual revenue, according to a company release.