Former Red Robin CEO Michael J. Snyder Dies by Suicide at 68

Michael J. Snyder, former CEO of Red Robin, passed away over the weekend of an apparent suicide, according to a report by TMZ.

Snyder began as the first franchisee of the Red Robin restaurant chain, and went on to become the company's CEO. On Sunday, that journey came to a sad close when he was reportedly found outside of his home with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Snyder was 68 years old.

The CEO's residence is in Yakima County, Washington state. The Yakima County Chief Deputy Coroner, Marshall Slight, said that Snyder was found on a bench in his own front yard. He used a high-powered firearm to carry out the grisly crime, and left no suicide note behind.

A 9-1-1 call first alerted police to Snyder's plight. When they arrived on the scene, they discovered his remains. It is unclear what Snyder leaves behind in terms of family and inheritance.

Snyder first got involved with the gourmet burger chain in 1979. He and his brother became the first to open a Red Robin franchise. Snyder was 39 years old at the time. From there, they opened 13 more Red Robin locations around Washington, Colorado and Idaho.

In 2000, Snyder merged his franchise locations back with the parent company. He then took over as CEO and President of Red Robin. However, five years later he was removed from the company following a financial investigation.

In 2005, it came to light that Snyder had misused company funds and charter planes. He was fired from his positions at the top of the company; however, he reportedly remained the largest individual shareholder for Red Robin.

Snyder joins a sadly long list of prominent suicides that have rocked the world this year. celebrities and other public figures have made headlines for their strugles with mental health and, in some cases, they have taken the most extreme measure.


Earlier this year, acclaimed DJ Avicii passed away due to suicide in a hotel room in Muscat, Oman. He was found with fatal self-inflicted injuries, though he had already retired from live performances due to acute pancreatitis. Actor Verne Troyer's death was also ruled a suicide after coroners determined that his alcohol poisoning was intentional.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).