Darden Restaurants, Inc., owner of Olive Garden, Red Lobster and other well-known eateries, named Bill Lenehan as CEO of its affiliated real estate company Four Corners Property Trust, Inc. today at its Orlando, Florida headquarters.
The trust is expected to split from Darden later this year in a spin-off or similar transaction. Until then, Lenehan will report to Darden CEO Gene Lee. If the division comes to pass, Lenehan, who currently serves on Darden's board of directors, would resign from the Board.
"The board and I have been incredibly impressed with Bill's leadership, knowledge and skill related to the Four Corners transaction," Lee said. "We have also been impressed with his vision and capability, which gives us confidence he will be able to lead and transform Four Corners into a leading growth company. We are extremely pleased to have a leader with Bill's level of expertise for this very exciting new company."
With a strong background in successful real estate ventures, Lenehan spent two years with Evoq Properties, Inc. and 10 years with Farallon Capital Management, LLC, as well as leading MI Developments (now Granite REIT) as interim CEO.
Darden revealed its intention to create the separate entity in June with the expectation of transferring approximately 420 restaurant properties to Four Corners for leaseback. The transaction is subject to certain conditions and approvals.
Darden Restaurants owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants generating $6.8 billion in sales annually. Headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and employing 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for customer service. Brands include Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House.
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