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Red Lobster Nets Former Chili’s President for CEO Role

Red Lobster named Kelli Valade the restaurant chain’s next CEO. Valade will take on her new role on August 2, succeeding Kim Lopdrup, who plans to retire after leading the seafood restaurant chain for 14 years.

KelliValade Red Lobster CEOKelli ValadeValade comes to Red Lobster from Black Box Intelligence, where she served as president and CEO since 2019. Prior to joining Black Box Intelligence, Valade spent more than 22 years at Brinker International, most recently serving as brand president for Chili's Grill & Bar. While at Brinker, Valade also served as chief operating officer and sr. vice president of human resources. 

Lopdrup announced his intent to retire from Red Lobster on June 29, promising to stay on board until a successor was named. He did not wait long as Red Lobster introduced Valade as his replacement on July 1. Lopdrup has served as Red Lobster’s CEO for 14 years.