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Cracker Barrel promotes Sandra Cochran to president

Cracker Barrel promotes Sandra Cochran to president

Woodhouse remains CEO as company realigns leadership

As part of an executive realignment, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said it has promoted chief financial officer and senior vice president Sandra Cochran to the posts of president and chief operating officer.

Michael A. Woodhouse, who previously held the president’s title, will continue as chairman and chief executive, the company said Wednesday.

Other management changes include:

• Douglas Barber, formerly chief operating officer, has been named executive vice president and chief people officer, a newly created post overseeing human resources and innovation efforts. Barber will report to Cochran.

• Nicholas Flanagan has been promoted to senior vice president of restaurant operations, also reporting to Cochran.

• N.B. Forrest Shoaf, senior vice president and chief legal officer, will serve as interim chief financial officer, while the company searches for a new CFO, senior vice president and chief legal officer.

“Cracker Barrel is a strong organization with solid leadership,” Woodhouse said. “Over the past few years, we have produced exceptional results, both operational and financial, during some of the toughest economic times that any of us have known. The players and the roles may evolve from time to time as part of a deliberate process for sustained success, but I am pleased that we have the depth to continue to pursue a clear strategic direction that is built on providing the great Cracker Barrel guest experience."

Before joining Lebanon, Tenn.-based Cracker Barrel, Cochran was chief executive of Books-A-Million. In her new role, she will be responsible for restaurant and retail operations, retail merchandising, real estate, and human resources.

“In addition to her financial leadership, Sandy has also invested her energy in learning all aspects of our business and industry,” Woodhouse said. “She knows that guest trust is vital and she will ensure that we continue to focus on the guest experience to grow restaurant traffic and retail sales.”

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., the parent of the 595-unit family-dining chain, reported a 20-percent increase in net income to $27.4 million, or $1.14 per share, for the July 30-ended fourth quarter, compared with $22.8 million, or 99 cents a share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter increased 2.8 percent, to $612.5 million, from $595.6 million a year earlier, and same-store restaurant sales rose 2 percent. Same-store retail sales grew 2.6 percent.

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected].

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