Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) today announced the next phase of its planned Board succession process. Executive Chairman Michael A. Woodhouse will be resigning from that position in early November, prior to the Company’s annual shareholders’ meeting, and not stand for election as a Board member. Mr. Woodhouse served as Chief Executive Officer from 2001 to 2011 and Chairman of the Board from 2004 to 2011. He continued as Executive Chairman for a transition period after Sandra B. Cochran became President and Chief Executive Officer last September.
The Board said it will name James W. Bradford, who joined the Cracker Barrel Board last August, as non-executive Chairman when Mr. Woodhouse steps down. Mr. Bradford is Dean and Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. An experienced corporate executive, Mr. Bradford previously served as President and Chief Executive Officer of United Glass Corporation, a consolidation of glass fabricators in the United States and Canada, from 1999 to 2001 and as President and Chief Executive Officer of AFG Industries Inc., North America’s largest vertically integrated glass manufacturing and fabrication company, from 1992 to 1999.
“On behalf of our entire company, I want to thank Mike for his commitment to our Company, and his vision and guidance of this great Cracker Barrel brand,” Ms. Cochran said. “During his tenure, Mike has stressed the importance of preserving the Cracker Barrel brand and culture, and has reinforced our mission of Pleasing People every day. Our shareholders, employees and guests have all benefited from his leadership.
“Jim Bradford already has made valuable contributions to our Company’s progress in his time as a Board member,” Ms. Cochran continued, “and I am looking forward to working with him in his expanded role as we continue to focus on delivering an outstanding experience for our customers, creating value for our shareholders, and continuing to build the Cracker Barrel brand for the future.”
The Company also announced that director Charles E. “Eddie” Jones, Jr. has informed the Board of his intention to retire at the end of his current term in November and not stand for election at the 2012 Annual Meeting.
“On behalf of our entire board, I want to thank Eddie for his years of invaluable service,” said Cochran. “Eddie has served with distinction and has provided solid judgment and leadership.”
The Company also announced that it will hold its annual shareholders’ meeting on November 15, 2012. Shareholders of record at the close of business on September 21, 2012 will be entitled to notice of and to vote at the annual meeting.