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VOL. 36 | NO. 21 | Friday, May 25, 2012




Cracker Barrel adds 2 new board members

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LEBANON (AP) - Casual dining chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. said Thursday that it has named two new board members, expanding the size of the board to 13. At the same time, it said two board members plan to retire when their terms expire.

The changes come after restaurant business executive Sardar Biglari, who has a 17 percent stake in Cracker Barrel, pressed for changes on the board. Biglari was denied a seat on Cracker Barrel's board in December during the annual shareholders meeting. His firm, Biglari Holdings Inc., owns the Steak 'n Shake and Western Sizzlin restaurant chains.

Cracker Barrel said its two new board members are Tom Barr, 44, a vice president at the coffee chain Starbucks Corp., and Glenn Davenport, 58, a veteran food distribution executive.

Barr has worked with the Starbucks' marketing and products team. Davenport was chairman and CEO for 12 years at Morrison Management Specialists, a private company tha t provides food for hospitals and senior living communities.

Cracker Barrel also disclosed that board members B.F. "Jack" Lowery, 74, and Robert V. Dale, 75, plan to retire at the end of their term.

In April, Biglari singled out each of them along with Cracker Barrel's executive chairman Michael Woodhouse and board member Charles Jones in a letter to shareholders, saying they should leave the board.

He said that Lowey and Dale were nearing the board retirement age of 75. He said Woodhouse and Jones had "lackluster performances."

His letter came a week after Cracker Barrel adopted a shareholder rights plan, or "poison pill," to ward off investment firm Biglari Holdings or anyone else from acquiring control of the restaurant chain without offering a premium to all its shareholders.

Cracker Barrel, based in Lebanon, Tenn., operates 615 restaurants in 42 states.

Its shares rose 14 cents to $60.55 in midday trading. Its shares are near its 52-we ek high of $61.89 set on May 22. Its shares traded as low as $37.31 last September.

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