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Biography: Clarence Otis, Jr.

Episode 503:
BIGGER BANG FOR THE BUCK:
Bringing Value to Middle America


Featured Guest:
Clarence Otis, Jr., Chairman & CEO
Darden Restaurants, Inc.

Mr. Otis' Video Clip
view  video

Clarence Otis, Jr. assumed the position of Chief Executive
Officer of Darden Restaurants in November, 2004 and added
the duties of Chairman in November, 2005. He is also a
member of Darden's Board of Directors.

Otis, 50, has been with Darden for 11 years. During his
tenure as president of Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill from
December 2002 to November 2004, Smokey Bones doubled
in size and achieved industry-leading guest satisfaction
survey scores.

Otis joined Darden as vice president and treasurer, and was soon named chief financial officer. Otis steered the company's complex financing side through strong earnings years and helped author the company's long-term financial strategies and strategic framework, which incorporates Darden's core purpose, values, vision, goals and strategies.

Darden Restaurants, Inc. is the largest publicly traded casual dining restaurant company in the world, based on market share and revenues from company-owned restaurants. They serve more than 300 million meals annually at 1,427 restaurants in 49 states and Canada.

Red Lobster and Olive Garden, their flagship brands, are the market share leaders in their casual dining segments. Each produced sales of $2.6 billion in fiscal 2006, making Darden the only casual dining restaurant company with two restaurant brands of this scale. Their emerging brands are Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill, and the newest concept, Seasons 52, is in the test phase. Based in Orlando, Florida, Darden employs nearly 160,000 people, and the company trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DRI.

Otis came to Darden from Chemical Securities, Inc. (now JP Morgan Securities, Inc.), an investment banking firm, where he had been Managing Director and Manager of Public Finance. He serves on the board of directors of VF Corp and Verizon.

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