Lee Steps in as Interim CEO for Darden

Shareholders replace entire board.

The Darden Board of Directors named Gene Lee the company’s interim chief executive officer. Lee, who previously served as Darden’s president and chief operating officer, replaces Clarence Otis, who has stepped down from his role as CEO, effective immediately.

The news comes on the heels of Darden’s shareholders voting to replace the company’s entire board of directorswith those individuals nominated by hedge fund Starboard Value LP. The change took place even though Darden reported that Olive Garden comparable store sales were up slightly, gaining 0.8 percent in August and 0.6 percent in September.

Earlier this year,Darden sold its Red Lobsterconcept to Golden Gate Capital. At that time it was announced Otis would resign.

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