July 28, 2014 / 9:00 PM / 3 years ago

Darden CEO Clarence Otis to step down

July 28 (Reuters) - Darden Restaurants Inc said Clarence Otis would step down as chairman and chief executive, buckling under pressure from activist investors Barington Capital Group LP and Starboard Value LP.

Darden, whose shares rose 4.6 percent after the bell, also

said it would separate the two roles.

Otis, who has been at the helm for a decade, will remain as CEO until a successor is appointed or until year-end.

Darden said it appointed independent lead director, Charles Ledsinger Jr as independent non-executive chairman, effective immediately. (Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bangalore)

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