Darden retains Russell Reynolds in CEO search

Orlando, Fla. - Darden Restaurants Inc. has retained global executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist the company with the recruitment of its next CEO. As previously announced, Clarence Otis is stepping down as chairman and CEO of Darden.  

To ensure a smooth transition, Charles A. Ledsinger Jr. has been appointed independent non-executive chairman of the board, and Mr. Otis has agreed to continue serving as CEO of Darden until the earlier of the appointment of his successor or Dec. 31, 2014.

Ledsinger is leading the search along with the board's nominating and governance committee, which consists solely of independent directors. Russell Reynolds Associates will work closely with the committee and the Darden board.

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