Rick Cardenas

President & Chief Operating Officer

Rick Cardenas was named President and Chief Operating Officer in January 2021. In this role, he has responsibility for all restaurant operations as well as supply chain, development, franchising & international and consumer insights.

Previously, Rick served as Darden’s Chief Financial Officer since March 2016. Prior to that, he 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. He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Tractor Supply Company.