Starboard issues statement in response to Darden CEO retirement Starboard CEO Jeffrey Smith, stated, "The overdue retirement of Clarence Otis is obviously in the best interest of Darden and its shareholders. It is surprising to us that it took this long. It is a shame for all Darden shareholders that this change happened only after the Board sanctioned the destruction of a billion dollars in shareholder value by approving the Red Lobster sale against the vehement objections of its shareholders... Unfortunately, Mr. Otis leaving represents just one small step in the transformation that is urgently needed at Darden. To be clear, the Company still requires a major overhaul at the Board level. This Board has proven over an extended period of time that it is unable to respectfully and capably represent the best interests of the shareholders they were elected to represent and cannot be trusted to make the incredibly important decision as to the selection of the next CEO of Darden. There needs to be a true and complete process to vet both internal and external talent in order to find a truly great, transformational, operationally-focused restaurant leader. This Board has a history of repeatedly making the easy decision, rather than the decision that is best for shareholders. Darden needs a majority change to the Board as soon as possible to jumpstart and complete the process of recruiting a truly great leader."
Opco reiterates Darden as a top idea after CEO news Oppenheimer reiterates Darden as a top idea after the company removed the temporary status of CEO Gene Lee. Opco views the development as an incremental positive and reiterates an Outperform rating on the name.