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Cracker Barrel Hires New President and CEO

Former Taco Bell exec Julie Felss Masino to take restaurant chain’s reins

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PHOTOGRAPHY:  Courtesy of Cracker Barrel PHOTOGRAPHY:  Courtesy of Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (Lebanon, Tenn.) announced that Julie Felss Masino will succeed Sandra Cochran as the company’s next President and CEO later this year.

Masino, 52, most recently served as President, International, of Taco Bell, overseeing the division’s expansion to more than 1000 restaurants in 32 countries, and before that led the $11 billion U.S. Taco Bell business.

“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,” Cracker Barrel Chairman William McCarten said in a news release. “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.”

Masino said, ” 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.”

In addition to her time at Taco Bell, she has held roles at Starbucks Coffee Co., Godiva Chocolatier, Coach, J.Crew and Macy’s.

Masino will assume the role of CEO-elect on Aug. 7, and will work with Cochran through the end of October on a transition of duties. On Nov. 1, she will assume those posts on a solo basis and will also join the company’s board.

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Established in 1969, Cracker Barrel operates more than 660 company-owned Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations in 45 states and owns the fast-casual Maple Street Biscuit Company, which has about 40 company-owned and franchise restaurants.

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