Ex-Darden leader Blum takes key role in activist investor battle

chris-muller-e1320781448723-150x150Orlando Sentinel
Christopher Muller, School of Hospitality Administration

Brad Blum’s career has been full of unexpected turns since he rescued Olive Garden in the 1990s from what he called “the brink of extinction.” After turning the chain around, Blum was considered a logical choice to lead its owner, Orlando-based Darden Restaurants. Instead, he headed to Burger King in 2002. Since then, he has revamped a rival Italian chain’s menu, offered to work for $1 at another company and opened a restaurant serving hot dogs made from grass-fed beef…

Expert quote:

“Blum’s hiring sends the message to the other side [that] we’ve got someone in our stable who can run the company if it comes to that, so you’d better listen to us.”

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