Rick Cardenas was named Chief Financial Officer for Darden Restaurants in March 2016. He leads all financial functions for the company including finance and accounting, corporate reporting, corporate tax, internal audit, treasury and investor relations. In addition, Rick maintains oversight of Darden’s IT, consumer insights and business analytics functions, as well as the Company’s international franchising operations.
Darden owns and operates more than 1,700 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, Yard House, The Capital Grille, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze and Eddie V’s restaurants in North America, employing more than 180,000 people and serving nearly 390 million guests annually.
Most recently, Rick served as Senior Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer. He began his career with Darden as an hourly employee in 1984, before joining the restaurant support center team in 1992 as an Auditor. From there he held increasingly more responsible positions including Director of Corporate Development, Director of Finance and Technology for Seasons 52, Vice President of Finance and Assistant Controller for Olive Garden, Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller for LongHorn Steakhouse, Senior Vice President of Finance and Controller for Red Lobster, and Executive Vice President of Operations for LongHorn Steakhouse. Rick briefly left the company in 1998 to work for management consulting firms Bain & Company and the Parthenon Group.
Rick graduated summa cum laude from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Finance & Accounting. He earned an MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and is a Certified Public Accountant.