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Olive Garden Chief Drew Madsen '78 Named President and COO of Darden Restaurants

Olive Garden Chief Drew Madsen '78 Named President and COO of Darden Restaurants

August 13, 2004

August 13, 2004, Greencastle, Ind. - Andrew H. "Drew" Madsen, president of Olive Garden restaurants and a 1978 graduate of DePauw University, will become president and chief operating officer of Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI) in December. Darden is the parent company of Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones restaurants.

An Associated Press article published in newspapers across the nation, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, states, "In his current role as Olive Garden's president, Madsen has presided over 39 consecutive quarters of same-restaurant sales increases." Madsen has also been nominated for election to the company's board of directors and will be voted on at the company's annual meeting in September 2004. The Orlando Sentinel notes Madsen, "has been with the company and its former parent General Mills for 18 years," and currently leads "Darden's most profitable chain, Olive Garden. [The new COO] will focus on operations, brand management and leadership development to foster growth" (read more here; a free registration is required to access the article).

 Read the AP story by clicking here. News of Drew Madsen's promotion can also be found in the Miami Herald.

Darden is the world's largest casual dining restaurant company (based on market share, sales and number of company-owned and operated restaurants). It operates more than 1,300 Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill and Seasons 52 restaurants in North America, employing more than 140,000 people who serve 300 million meals annually. All of the restaurants are company-owned. Visit the company's Web site by clicking here.