Taco Bell Names New CEO And More Industry News

This week in industry news, Taco Bell's president Brian Niccol will be promoted to CEO, Red Robin's profit went up 26 percent, and Mizkan Group will acquire Ragu and Bertolli from Unilever PLC for approximately $2.15 billion.

Read on for more of this week's biggest financial news in the world of food.


Red Robin Gourmet Burgers Inc.: In the first quarter, the company's profit went up 26 percent due to its new line of premium Black Angus burgers and successful advertising efforts.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Panzica Building Corp.


Leadership Change

Taco Bell Corp.:  The company's president Brian Niccol will be promoted to CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2015, replacing Greg Creed, who will become CEO of parent company Yum! Brands Inc.

Darden Restaurant Inc.: Investor Starboard Value, which owns 6.2 percent of Darden's shares, announced that it plans to replace all 12 members on Darden's board of directors with its own picks. This follows Darden's decision last week to sell Red Lobster to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion, which Starboard stated it did not approve of.

Smashburger: David Biederman, who previously headed Smashburger's construction and development, has been promoted to the newly created position of chief development officer.

Corner Bakery Café: Michael J. Nolan, former Panera Bread and Bloomin' Brands Inc. executive, has been named executive vice president and chief development officer of Corner Bakery Café.

Hostess Brands, L.L.C.: The company hired William Toler, former CEO of AdvancePierre Foods and president of Pinnacle Foods Finance L.L.C., as its new president and CEO.

Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.: Pepperidge Farm's president Irene Chang Britt has been named to the board of directors of Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc.



TGI Fridays: Carlson will sell TGI Fridays to Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners for an undisclosed amount.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Guillermo Buelna

Mizkan Group: The company will acquire Ragu and Bertolli from Unilever PLC for approximately $2.15 billion. The sale agreement includes the sale of a sauce processing and packaging plant in Owensboro, Ky., and a tomato processing facility in Stockton, Calif.

Have the inside scoop on a merger or acquisition? Know of a new advertising campaign around a new iconic product? We're always looking to get ahead of the game, so email us your tips.

Haley WIllard is The Daily Meal's assistant editor. Follow her on Twitter @haleywillrd.