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Red Lobster Names New Chief Executive Officer, Chairman of Board

Red Lobster announced Horace Dawson has been named the Chief Executive Officer of the company and is joining the company’s board. Since 2014, Dawson served as the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Red Lobster where he led legal affairs and was responsible for communications, risk management and government relations.




Dawson is a 30-year restaurant industry veteran having served as the Vice President and Division General Counsel for Darden Restaurants, Inc., and Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel of Hard Rock Cafe International. Dawson also practiced in the entertainment, securities, corporate and communications areas for Telemundo Network, the Spanish language television broadcaster and for New York City law firms. Dawson also has experience in private practice, having handled matters in the corporate and securities areas of Akerman LLP.

“I am very excited to be stepping into the role of CEO for Red Lobster. This is an important time for our brand. We are continuing to evolve our menu and guest experience to give our guests more of what they want every time they visit one of our restaurants,” said Dawson. “We have some of the most passionate customers and dedicated employees in the restaurant industry and I am looking forward to working with my teams to address the challenges we face in light of industry headwinds and to execute on our plans and deliver results.”

Horace is an active and well-respected leader in the restaurant industry, serving on the Boards of Directors of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Restaurant Law Center, and Stronger America Through Seafood.

He also invests his time in the community by serving on the Boards of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Central Florida, and Leadership Institute for Women of Color Attorneys, and on the Orlando Advisory Committee for City National Bank.

Horace received his undergraduate, law and Master of Business Administration degrees from Harvard University.

In addition to Dawson’s appointment, the company has also announced that Paul Kenny has been appointed as Red Lobster’s Chairman of the Board. Kenny has over 50 years of experience in the food industry, most recently holding positions as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Advisor of the Minor Food Group and serving as a director on the Board of Minor International.

“I have served on the Red Lobster Board for several years and strongly believe that Horace is the right leader for this iconic brand at this time in the company’s history and I look forward to continuing a strong and productive working relationship,” said Kenny.

Red Lobster is the world’s largest and most-loved seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Florida.

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