News Release Details

Darden Retains Korn Ferry For CEO Search

November 05, 2014

ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) today announced it has retained Korn Ferry, a leading global executive search firm, to assist the Company with the recruitment of its next Chief Executive Officer. The Company's Board of Directors CEO Search Committee is leading and managing the search process, which will include both internal and external candidates.

"The selection of Darden's next CEO is our top priority," said Jeff Smith, Chairman of the Board and Chair of the CEO Search Committee. "With the new Board now firmly in place, we wanted to work with a leading search firm that will give us a fresh perspective to help identify the best and most appropriate talent for Darden. We are pleased to be working with Korn Ferry as our highly capable partner for this critically important search."

Smith continued, "Although no candidates have been formally interviewed yet, either by the current Board or the former Board, Korn Ferry, in conjunction with the CEO Search Committee, is working expeditiously to identify the next leader of Darden."

Concurrent with this announcement, the Company is concluding its work with Russell Reynolds Associates, effective immediately.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate approximately $6.3 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE "100 Best Companies to Work For" list for the fourth year in a row. Our restaurant brands – Olive Garden®, LongHorn Steakhouse®, Bahama Breeze®, Seasons 52®, The Capital Grille®, Eddie V's® and Yard House® – reflect the rich diversity of those who dine with us. Our brands are built on deep insights into what our guests want. For more information, please visit www.darden.com.

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SOURCE Darden Restaurants, Inc.: General

(Analysts) Matthew Stroud, (407) 245-5288; (Media) Bob McAdam, (407) 245-5366