Cracker Barrel Old Country Store said this morning it has realigned its leadership ranks, most notably promoting its CFO to president and COO.
Mike Woodhouse continues as the restaurant and retail chain's chairman and CEO. Taking on his previous role as president is Sandy Cochran, who joined the company in April of 2009 as executive vice president and CFO. Cochran, a former CEO of Books-A-Million, also has been named COO, taking over from Doug Barber.
Barber will report to Cochran from his newly created role as executive VP and chief people officer. He will oversee the company's HR, diversity and outreach, training and innovation initiatives. Also now reporting to Cochran is Nick Flanagan, who has been promoted to senior VP of restaurant operations.
The leadership shuffle leaves open Cracker Barrel's CFO position. The company has launched a search for the position; Chief Legal Officer Forrest Shoaf will take over as CFO on an interim basis, as he did before Cochran's arrival.
“Over the past few years, we have produced exceptional results, both operational and financial, during some of the toughest economic times that any of us have known,” Woodhouse said. “The players and the roles may evolve from time to time as part of a deliberate process for sustained success, but I am pleased that we have the depth to continue to pursue a clear strategic direction.”
Woodhouse praised Cochran's work over her 18 months at Cracker Barrel, saying she has earned respect on Wall Street and within the company.
“She has valuable experience leading an entire organization from her time as CEO of Books-A-Million,” he said. “She knows that guest trust is vital and she will ensure that we continue to focus on the guest experience to grow restaurant traffic and retail sales.”
Shares of Cracker Barrel (Ticker: CBRL) ended Tuesday trading at almost $55, an all-time closing high and up 65 percent from a year ago.