Red Lobster CEO Resigns

Kelli Valade, who previously spent more than 22 years with Brinker Int'l., joined the brand in August.

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Courtesy of Red Lobster.

Red Lobster announced today that Kelli Valade will resign as CEO, effective April 15. The brand will begin the search for a successor.

Valade joined Red Lobster in August 2021, succeeding Kim Lopdrup who led the brand for 14 years. Valade previously had spent more than 22 years with Brinker Int’l. and served as Black Box Intelligence’s president and CEO in 2019.

During her time with Red Lobster, she was credited for creating a new strategic framework and go-forward plan with a focus on the core guest and the need for value. She also built out the executive team, adding the newly created roles of chief marketing officer and chief information officer and recruiting a new CFO.

Valade says her decision to leave the brand was “incredibly difficult but necessary.”

“On behalf of the board, we thank Kelli for her service and accomplishments during her tenure as CEO, including navigating through the most recent wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has helped us assemble a talented and highly capable leadership team to lead us forward. We wish Kelli the very best in the future,” says Rittirong Boonmechote, chairman of the Red Lobster board of directors.

Following Valade’s departure, Paul Kenny, a member of the board of directors, will serve as a liaison between Red Lobster’s leadership and the board during the search for a new CEO.

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