Darden Restaurants CEO to retire in May; insider promoted
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The CEO of the nation’s largest full-service restaurant owner will retire in May. Darden Restaurants announced Friday that Gene Lee will step down as CEO after seven years, but will remain as board chairman. He will be replaced by Rick Cardenas, the company’s president and chief operating officer. The company is based in Orlando, Florida, and owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s. The company has more than 1,850 locations and annual sales of $7 billion. It also announced that it will raise its minimum hourly wage from $10 to $12, including tips.