Clarence Otis Jr.
Former Chief Executive Officer of Darden Restaurants
Clarence Otis Jr. is the Former Chief Executive Officer of Darden Restaurants. Darden owns and operates more than 1,500 Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V’s and Yard House restaurants in North America, employing 150,000 people and serving more than 320 million meals annually. In 2014, Darden was named to the FORTUNE “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fourth year in a row. Clarence, 58, started at Darden in 1995, joining the company as Vice President and Treasurer and progressing to the position of Chief Financial Officer several years later. Prior to joining Darden, Clarence served as Managing Director and Manager of Public Finance for Chemical Securities, Inc. (now JP Morgan Securities, Inc.), capping an eleven year career in investment banking. A member of the New York Bar Association, Clarence earned a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford Law School and worked as a securities attorney in New York City for four years prior to beginning his career in financial services. He earned a bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., where he was elected a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. He currently serves as a member of the school’s Board of Trustees. Clarence also serves on the board of directors of VF Corporation, Verizon Communications, Inc. and the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. In 2012, Clarence received the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association's (IFMA) Silver Plate Award which recognizes outstanding achievement and innovation in the foodservice industry. And, in 2007, he was presented with a Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.