Cracker Barrel Names Julie Felss Masino as the Company’s New President and Chief Executive Officer

Cracker Barrel Names Julie Felss Masino as the Company's New President and Chief Executive Officer

Cracker Barrel Names Julie Felss Masino as the Company's New President and Chief Executive OfficerJulie Felss Masino will succeed Sandra B. Cochran as Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s next President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ms. Masino, 52, has had a long and successful career driving innovation and growth for globally loved and recognized restaurant and retail brands.  She most recently served as President, International of Taco Bell, overseeing the expansion of the division to more than 1,000 restaurants in 32 countries, and before that led the $11 billion US Taco Bell business, where she and her teams launched numerous culinary, technology, and business model innovations during eight consecutive quarters of positive comp growth. 

Commenting on the appointment, Cracker Barrel’s Chairman of the Board, William McCarten said, “Today’s announcement represents the culmination of a multi-year CEO succession-planning process by our Board of Directors and Sandy, and we are thrilled to welcome Julie to the head of the Cracker Barrel table. We believe Julie ‘s track record as an innovator and a leader, together with her strategic thinking and passion for growth, will ensure that Cracker Barrel remains a place where people feel welcomed and cared for like family as we extend our hospitality to an even broader array of guests.” 

The Company’s current President and Chief Executive Officer, Sandra Cochran, added, “Julie brings a wealth of experience and an innovative spirit to Cracker Barrel and Maple Street. I look forward to seeing her and the team build on our legacy and carve new paths for growth as they leverage and continue our investments in technology, loyalty, and the employee and guest experience. It has been a privilege to lead this brand for the last twelve years and I am happy to be able to transfer my role to someone as capable and accomplished as Julie.”

Finally, Ms. Masino commented, “Cracker Barrel is one of the most iconic brands in the history of American casual and family dining, and I appreciate all that Sandy and the Board have done to set the company, our team, and me up for success. For more than fifty years Cracker Barrel has leveraged its rich culture to deliver on its brand and people promises to guests and employees, and the company’s Pleasing People mission aligns perfectly with my passion for building and empowering diverse high-performing teams. The confidence the Board has shown by entrusting the brand to me is humbling, and I’m excited to work with the more than 75,000 dedicated Cracker Barrel and Maple Street employees to drive the Company’s growth for years to come.”

Ms. Masino spent the last five and a half years at Taco Bell, during which time she led franchise partners and teams to open over 800 new units in the US and around the globe. The bulk of her career was spent in a variety of leadership roles at Starbucks Coffee Company, including serving as the CMO of Starbucks’ China business as well as Vice President, Strategy Americas and EMEA; Vice President, Global Beverage; and Vice President, Global Merchandise and Packaged Food. She began her professional career in corporate positions at a variety of retail companies, including Godiva Chocolatier, Coach, J. Crew, and Macy’s, and has meaningful public and private company board experience.

Ms. Masino will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer-elect on August 7, 2023, and will work with Ms. Cochran through the end of October on a transition of duties. On November 1, 2023, Ms. Masino will become the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and will be appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors.  At that time, Ms. Cochran will become the Executive Chair of the Board through September 2024, and the Board’s current independent Chair, William McCarten, will assume the role of Lead Independent Director.

Commenting on the transition of roles and Ms. Cochran’s tenure, Mr. McCarten affirmed, “Sandy and the rest of the Board have spent years planning for Sandy’s succession and we are happy to see that work pay off today.  Sandy’s contributions to Cracker Barrel are too many to catalogue – from driving performance and creating shareholder value, to recruiting and mentoring key talent, to successfully guiding our company through the pandemic.  She will add to that track record in her role as Executive Chair, as she transfers responsibilities and helps Julie assume the leadership of our brand.   We are grateful to Sandy not only for having led Cracker Barrel so successfully for so long, but for supporting Julie’s and our success going forward.”