Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Thursday morning said its board has voted to add two food service execs, including a longtime Starbucks officer, to its ranks.
At the same time, the restaurant and retail chain said two of its most tenured directors — and two of the four officials targeted by activist investor Sardar Biglari — will step down from the board this fall.
Joining Cracker Barrel’s board immediately are Tom Barr and Glenn Davenport. Barr, 44, is vice president of global Coffee at Starbucks and has worked in a number of senior marketing and product roles at the company since 2000. Davenport, 58, is a former chairman and CEO at Morrison Management Specialists, which markets food, nutrition and dining services to health systems and senior-living communities in 41 states.
“Tom has a passion for the guest experience that has enabled him to build and execute strategies that are appealing to a broad range of customers,” said Owen school dean Jim Bradford, chairman of Cracker Barrel’s nominating and governance committee. “Glenn is a seasoned, well-respected executive with a long history in the restaurant industry. His insights will be valuable.”
The duo planning to step aside later this year are Jack Lowery and Bobby Dale, who have been directors since 1971 and 1986, respectively. Dale, 75, is the company’s lead independent director and along with the 74-year-old Lowery — chairman and CEO of LoJac — had been one of the men Biglari said last month he wanted to replace .
“On behalf of our entire company, I want to thank Jack and Bobby for their invaluable service and commitment,” said President and CEO Sandy Cochran. “Their contributions helped make Cracker Barrel one of the most highly differentiated, successful restaurant concepts in America and we appreciate all their thoughtful judgment and leadership for the benefit of our shareholders, employees and customers.”
The moves announced Thursday are the latest in a series of recent board changes . Bradford himself joined the board last summer, as did former Wal-Mart exec Coleman Peterson and DiamondRock Hospitality Chairman Bill McCarten.