Darden's Olive Garden names new president amid sales slump

LOS ANGELES Tue Jan 8, 2013 5:12pm EST

LOS ANGELES Jan 8 (Reuters) - Darden Restaurants Inc said the president of its Olive Garden chain will be leaving the company later this month and the head of its LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants will take the helm at the Italian-themed eatery, which has struggled with slumping sales.

Orlando-based Darden on Tuesday said Olive Garden President John Caron will depart on Jan. 14, and be replaced by Dave George, who has been president of LongHorn Steakhouse since 2003.

Valerie Insignares, currently Darden's chief restaurant operations officer, will take over as president of LongHorn Steakhouse.

The moves come as Darden revamps its promotions to counter a recent slowdown at its big three brands - Olive Garden, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse. Olive Garden alone generates almost half of the company's overall revenue.

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