U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 55 mins

Why Red Lobster’s new management is so important for investors

Xun Yao Chen

Despite displeased investors, Darden may have made the best decision (Part 9 of 10)

(Continued from Part 8)

New management

So who will be heading Red Lobster’s new management team? This is an important question to answer because it could give insight into management dynamics within the current Darden and whether new management is suited to the changing new Red Lobster.

Chief executive officer

Kim Lopdrup, current president of Specialty Restaurant Group and New Business for Darden, would be the CEO of the new Red Lobster management team. From fiscal year 2005 to 2011, he served as president of Red Lobster. Before joining Darden, Lopdrup was the executive vice president and chief operating officer of North America for Burger King and chief executive officer of the International Division of Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (now the international division of Dunkin’ Brands).

President and chief financial officer

Salli Setta, currently the president of Red Lobster, will support Kim and remain as president when the spin-off occurs. In the past, she has served as Red Lobster’s executive vice president of marketing for eight years.

As chief financial and administrative officer, current Darden CFO Brad Richmond would take the post. He was a member of the team that completed the spinoff of Darden from General Mills in 1995.

Key thoughts and notes

While Lopdrup’s current position as the president of Specialty Restaurant Group could be concerning, it may even be helpful since the short exposure might drive some more innovative ideas to Red Lobster. His past experience at various food and beverage stores and at Red Lobster from 2005 to 2011 may also offset this concern through his being able to connect more closely with the Red Lobster employees who are more likely to know more about Red Lobster’s problem. The same can be said for Salli Setta, and the benefit of having managers who have been through the decline of Red Lobster likely outweighs the cost of placing someone who doesn’t understand Red Lobster’s business into management.

Continue to Part 10

Browse this series on Market Realist: