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Monday, July 28, 2014

Darden CEO to step down amid investor pressure, stock jumps, (NYSE: DRI)

Darden Restaurants Inc said on Monday that Clarence Otis would step down as chairman and chief executive officer, buckling under pressure from activist investors Barington Capital Group LP and Starboard Value LP.Shares of Darden, which just closed the sale of its Red Lobster chain and is working to boost business at its flagship Olive Garden restaurants, jumped 5 percent in extended trading.In further concessions, Orlando-based Darden said it would separate the chairman and chief executive roles, and clear the way for some of Starboard's proposed directors to be elected at its annual meeting.Barington Chairman and CEO James Mitarotonda, who had asked Darden to split the chairman and CEO roles, said the changes were not fast enough and did not go as far as needed, adding he had lost confidence in Otis's ability to lead.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. is full service restaurant company. Shares of DRI traded higher by 0.58% or $0.26/share to $44.92. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $43.56 and as high as $54.89. On average, 1428190 shares of DRI exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 1314698.