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Darden Promotes a Pair of Senior Leaders

Setta and Pickens to assume new leadership positions. 

Multi-concept operator Darden Restaurants, Inc. promoted Salli Setta to president of its Red Lobster brand and Dave Pickens to chief restaurant operations officer for the company. These appointments are effective Monday, July 15.

In his new role Pickens will lead the operations leadership team and implement various strategic operations initiatives that span the entire Darden enterprise.

Both Setta and Pickens will report to Drew Madsen, Darden's president and chief operating officer.

Setta joined Red Lobster in 2005 as executive vice president of marketing. She joined Darden in 1990 as a sales promotion assistant at Olive Garden and held positions of increasing responsibility during her 15-year tenure with the brand.

Pickens has spent more than 40 years with Darden, beginning as a Red Lobster crew member in 1973 and progressing through various operations roles with increasing responsibility culminating in his role as a division senior vice president. He joined Olive Garden in 1995 as senior vice president of operations for the Orlando division. He was promoted to Olive Garden's executive vice president of operations in 1999 and then to president in 2004, a position he held until rejoining Red Lobster in 2011 as its president.