Cracker Barrel Old Country Store announced Tuesday the appointment of Julie Felss Masino as the Lebanon, Tenn.-based restaurant’s new president and CEO. Masino — who most recently served as president, international at Taco Bell — will assume the role CEO-elect on Aug. 7.
After an interim period, current CEO Sandra Cochran will step down to become executive chair of the board through Sept. 2024, and Masino will transition into the role of CEO on Nov. 1. At that time, the board's current independent chair, William McCarten, will assume the role of lead independent director.
“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,” Masino said in a statement. “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."
Masino spent the past nearly six years at Taco Bell where she led teams in opening nearly 800 restaurant locations across 32 countries. Before that, she ran the U.S. division of Taco Bell, where her team launched multiple innovations during eight straight quarters of comps growth. Before that, Masino spent her multi-decade career in leadership positions at companies including Mattel, Sprinkles Cupcakes, Godiva, and Starbucks, where she held multiple vice president positions including vice president of strategy and the Americas.
"Julie brings a wealth of experience and an innovative spirit to Cracker Barrel and Maple Street,” Cochran said in a statement. “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."
Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]