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Bloomin' Brands shakes up board

Outback Steakhouse owner puts new board focus on technology.

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  • | 9:23 a.m. September 6, 2023
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Outback Steakhouse's parent company, Bloomin' Brands, shook up its board.
Outback Steakhouse's parent company, Bloomin' Brands, shook up its board.
Courtesy photo
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Tampa-based Bloomin' Brands shook up its board of directors, only a few weeks after Starboard Value, an activist investor firm in New York and Fort Lauderdale, upped its stake in ownership of the publicly traded company, which owns Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill and other brands.

Starboard Value, which in the previous decade shook up Darden Restaurants, reported to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Aug. 8 that it now owns 9.9% of Bloomin' Brands stock.

Three weeks later, on Aug. 28, Bloomin' Brands put Rohit Lal on the board, according to an investor statement. Lal is logistics company Saia's current EVP and chief information officer.

The board also promoted director R. Michael Mohan, who has served on the board since 2017, to chairman of the board.

Mohan replaces former board Chairman Jim Craigie, who served for a decade and is now retiring.

"These appointments are part of the company’s ongoing board refreshment and succession planning, and its commitment to good corporate governance," Bloomin' Brands says in a statement.

Mohan says he will work to "elevate the customer experience, deliver sustainable sales and profit growth and drive shareholder value." 

Mohan says Rohit's expertise in the areas of digital, supply chain logistics and cybersecurity "complements our current board composition."

 All three areas play a pivotal role in growing our dynamic brands and we are excited to benefit from his additional perspectives.”

Bloomin' Brands CEO David Deno says Rohit's "proven success will help guide the digital transformation we have underway."

Lal currently leads Bloomin' Brands' information-tech teams as EVP and CIO for Saia. Prior to Saia, Lal held the role of director of enterprise architecture for CONA Services, an IT services company owned by the 11 largest Coca-Cola bottlers in North America, Bloomin' Brands says.

Mohan was appointed to the board in 2017. He serves as chairman of the Compensation Committee. He served as president and COO and in various other executive roles in merchandising and marketing during his nearly 18-year tenure at Best Buy, company officials say.

Bloomin' Brands' portfolio includes Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba's Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The company owns and operates more than 1,450 restaurants throughout 47 states, Guam and 13 countries. It had $4.41 billion in revenue in 2022. 


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