Darden Restaurants has named Bill Simon, former CEO of Walmart U.S., to its board of directors.
Simon is no stranger to the restaurant business. He spent more than a year as senior vice president of global business development for Brinker International before moving to Wal-Mart Stores. He also served on the Darden board for two years but chose not to seek re-election in 2013.
Darden, the parent of Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse, is a company in transition with Gene Lee recently named as interim CEO following the retirement of Clarence Otis.
Last week, the activist Starboard Value L.P. won a proxy contest for all 12 seats on Darden’s board of directors. That kind of turnover, coupled with the fact that Darden is looking for a new CEO, has already led to concerns about uncertainty surrounding the company.