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Business Observer Sunday, Jul. 5, 2020 4 weeks ago

Former Dairy Queen CEO, Walmart exec, join area company’s board

The new Bloomin’ Brands board members stem from an April agreement between the restaurant company and JANA Partners.

TAMPA — Bloomin’ Brands, in conjunction with one of its biggest investors, JANA Partners LLC, has named two new board members: John Gainor and Lawrence Jackson.

Gainor was president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, from 2008 until he retired in 2017. Jackson oversaw global procurement at Walmart, among other career stops, and was also executive vice president and Chief People Officer at the retail giant.

Courtesy. John Gainor was president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, from 2008 until he retired in 2017.

The new positions became effective July 1, according to a statement, and are part of an agreement the two companies reached in April to increase the size of the board to 10 members.

“John and Lawrence bring new and valuable expertise that will complement our board of directors,” says Chairman Jim Craigie in the release. “John’s deep restaurant and franchising experience, coupled with Lawrence’s restaurant background, private equity experience and leadership in the global procurement space, will improve our ability to maximize shareholder value.”

Gainor joined Dairy Queen in 2003, and was chief supply chain officer prior to his role as CEO. He’s also a member of the board at Jack in the Box and Saia, the release states. Jackson, meanwhile, prior to Walmart, held various executive roles at Dollar General Corp., Safeway and PepsiCo, Inc. He is currently a senior advisor at New Mountain Capital LLC and chairman of SourceMark, where he was CEO from 2010-2012. “We selected these individuals with JANA Partners because each of these industry veterans bring unique perspectives that will be invaluable for creating long-term sustainable growth,” Bloomin’ Brands CEO David Deno says in the statement. 

Gainor will serve on the nominating and corporate governance committee, the release states, while Jackson will serve on the audit committee.

Bloomin' Brands, Inc. is one of the largest casual dining restaurant companies in the world with a portfolio of four founder-inspired brands: Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar. The Company operates more than 1,450 restaurants in 48 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and 20 countries. It posted $4.13 billion in sales in 2019.


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