Texas Roadhouse founder and CEO Kent Taylor, 65, died by suicide after suffering from symptoms related to COVID-19.
Taylor took his own life Thursday after struggling with severe tinnitus, his family said in a statement Sunday. The condition, which includes the ringing of ears, can be made worse by COVID.
“Kent battled and fought hard like the former track champion that he was, but the suffering that greatly intensified in recent days became unbearable,” the statement read.
“We are saddened by the decision Kent felt he needed to make and want to emphasize more than ever the importance of reaching out for help if you or someone you love is suffering,” it continued. “As Kent would so often say, ‘keep it legendary.”
Taylor recently committed to fund a clinical study to help those in the military suffering from tinnitus, according to his family. Texas Roadhouse announced on Sunday that President Jerry Morgan will be named the new CEO.
“While you never expect the loss of such a visionary as Kent, our succession plan, which Kent led, gives us great confidence,” Greg Moore, lead director of the Roadhouse board, said in a statement. “Jerry’s operational background and 20-plus years of Texas Roadhouse experience will be key in helping the company and Roadies move forward after such a tragic loss.”