Starboard Hires Ex-Olive Garden Pres. In Darden Battle

Feb 21 2014 | 10:48am ET

One of the hedge funds battling Darden Restaurants' plan to spin-off its Red Lobster franchise has hired the former head of one of its other struggling chains.

Brad Blum, who served as president of Olive Garden from 1994 until 2002, is advising Starboard Value's activist campaign against Darden. Starboard and Barington Capital Group want Darden to pursue a more radical spin-off plan than the one the company has proposed.

Blum is being paid $50,000 for his work, and will use the money to buy Darden stock. He may serve as one of Starboard's board candidates should it proceed with a proxy battle with the company.

Blum became CEO of Burger King Corp. in 2002, and led Romano's Macaroni Grill from 2008 through 2010.

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