Cracker Barrel CEO Sandy Cochran leaves post

  • After about 12 years in the position
  • Praise and thanks for Cochran
  • Julie Masino taking over
  • Cochran will remain as Executive Chair at Cracker Barrel
  • Cochran said 84 words

(exechange) — Lebanon, Tennessee, July 18, 2023 — Sandy Cochran, chief executive of Cracker Barrel, leaves her position. As announced by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. in a news release and in a regulatory filing published on Tuesday, July 18, 2023, Sandra B. (Sandy) Cochran leaves her post as chief executive officer at the chain of restaurant and gift stores, after about 12 years in the role, effective November 1, 2023.

Sandy Cochran’s duties as CEO will be taken over by Julie Felss Masino, most recently President, International of Taco Bell.

The fact that Sandy Cochran’s successor is brought in from outside suggests that the board may seek to stimulate change with fresh ideas and new initiatives.

“Culmination of a multi-year CEO succession-planning process”

The planned management change is explained as follows. Cracker Barrel’s Chairman of the Board, William McCarten, stated: “Today’s announcement represents the culmination of a multi-year CEO succession-planning process by our Board of Directors and Sandy, and we are thrilled to welcome Julie to the head of the Cracker Barrel table.”

Cochran will remain as Executive Chair at Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel stated: “Ms. Masino will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer-elect on August 7, 2023, and will work with Ms. Cochran through the end of October on a transition of duties. On November 1, 2023, Ms. Masino will become the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer and will be appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. At that time, Ms. Cochran will become the Executive Chair of the Board through September 2024, and the Board’s current independent Chair, William McCarten, will assume the role of Lead Independent Director.”

“Step down”

Cracker Barrel said: “Sandra B. Cochran, the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, in preparation for her retirement in 2024, will step down as President and Chief Executive Officer effective November 1, 2023.”

Share price decline since July 2018

The announcement follows a decline in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.’s share price of 41% since July 2018.

In the position of CEO since 2011

Sandy Cochran became CEO of the Company in 2011.

Sandra B. Cochran has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since September 2011.

From April 2009 until November 2010, Cochran served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Company and was named President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company in November 2010.

Cochran previously served from February 2004 until April 2009 as Chief Executive Officer of Books-A-Million, Inc. (Nasdaq: BAMM) (“Books-A-Million”), a leading book retailer in the southeastern United States.

Cochran currently serves on the board of directors of Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (NYSE: LOW) and previously served on the board of directors of Dollar General Corporation (NYSE: DG) from 2012 until May 2020.

84 words by Sandy Cochran

In the news release announcing her departure as CEO of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc., Sandy Cochran received praise and thanks.

In announcing her departure, Sandy Cochran said 84 words.

“Carve new paths for growth”

Sandy Cochran stated: “Julie brings a wealth of experience and an innovative spirit to Cracker Barrel and Maple Street. I look forward to seeing her and the team build on our legacy and carve new paths for growth as they leverage and continue our investments in technology, loyalty, and the employee and guest experience. It has been a privilege to lead this brand for the last twelve years and I am happy to be able to transfer my role to someone as capable and accomplished as Julie.”

40% of CEOs are forced out or fired

When CEO departures are announced, exechange determines the Push-out Score on a scale of 0 to 10 to assess how likely it is that the chief executive was pushed out or felt pressure to leave the position, with 0 being most likely a voluntary move and 10 being most likely a forced exit. Anything over a 5 indicates that there are valid reasons to believe an executive may have been pushed out.

Of the 316 CEO departures in the Russell 3000 Index evaluated over the past 12 months (July 18, 2022, to July 17, 2023), the average Push-out Score was 6.2, according to exechange data. References to conduct issues, disagreements and irregularities lead to the highest Push-out Scores. When performance issues, time with family or personal reasons were cited as departure reasons, the average Push-out Scores were also significantly elevated.

Around 40% of the CEO departure events from the past 12 months received Push-out Scores of 8 or higher.

In other words, in the past 12 months, two in five departing CEOs were forced out or fired.

Closer look at female CEOs

Female and male CEOs in the U.S. have been found to be equally likely to be pushed out. Over the past 12 months, both outgoing female and outgoing male CEOs received an average Push-out Score of 6.2.

Female CEOs have a 39% shorter tenure. Women in the role step down after an average tenure of 5 years, compared with 8.2 years for men, the exechange data shows, which covers 24 departing female CEOs and 292 departing male CEOs.

On a five-year view, departing female CEOs received an average Push-out Score of 5.8, which was significantly higher than the average Push-out Score of 5.3 for departing male CEOs. This suggests that women were more likely to be pushed out than men, when using a longer observation period. This is evident from exechange data covering 1,403 CEO departures (84 of them women and 1,319 men) from 2017 to 2021. Female CEOs who announced their departure from 2017 to 2021 had a 26% shorter tenure, exiting after an average of 6.6 years, compared with 8.9 years for men, the exechange data shows.

Push-out Score for Sandy Cochran’s move determined

The Push-out Score regarding Sandy Cochran’s move is explained point by point in the exechange report.

exechange reached out to Cracker Barrel and offered the company the opportunity to comment on the score.

Read the full story in the exechange report 30.2023 ($).