Last week, Darden Restaurants announced the appointment of Dave George to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO), and the naming of Dan Kiernan to President of Olive Garden, both effective immediately.
"Dave is a seasoned and trusted leader who consistently delivers strong results. As we continue to simplify our operations across all brands, he is uniquely qualified to drive strategic prioritization and accountability, with a laser-focus on operational excellence," said Gene Lee, President and CEO, in a company press release.
With over twenty years of experience in managerial roles, George first began his career at The Capital Grille in 2000 and LongHorn Steakhouse in 2001, where he served as Senior Vice President before becoming President. In 2007, he joined Darden as President of LongHorn Steakhouse, and later in 2013 he was appointed President of Olive Garden, before being appointed Executive Vice President of Darden in 2016.
In his new position, George will continue to oversee Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, and International Franchising, while also adding Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen to his leadership portfolio.
"I am excited that Dave has accepted this new challenge that will broaden his influence across the organization and ensure a smooth and effective transition at Olive Garden. I am confident that under Dave and Dan's leadership, Olive Garden will continue to deliver outstanding food and service to our guests," Lee said.
Kiernan joined Olive Garden as a Manager-in-Training in 1992 and worked his way through the operations system, moving from General Manager to Director of Operations to Senior Vice President, Operations. He was named Executive Vice President, Operations in 2011, playing an integral role in Olive Garden's transformation of memorable guest experiences.
"Dan is a great restaurant operator. His ability to make the complex simple, motivate more than 90,000 team members and lead teams dedicated to delivering memorable guest experiences makes him the perfect leader for Olive Garden," said George.
Congratulations to Dave George and Dan Kiernan on their new positions! For more news like this, stay tuned to Deli Market News for the latest.