US-based restaurant chain Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s board of directors have named Julie Felss Masino as the company’s new CEO and president.

Masino will succeed the current Cracker Barrel CEO and chairman Sandra B Cochran and assume the role of CEO-elect from 7 August.

Joining as CEO-elect, Masino will work together with Cochran until the end of October for the transitioning of duties.  

Following the complete and successful role transfer, Masino will assume the role of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store’s new president and CEO from 1 November 2023 and will also be appointed to the company’s board of directors.

Masino has worked with various global restaurant and retail brands, including Taco Bell, where she served for five and a half years as international president, overseeing the division’s expansion to over 1,000 restaurants across 32 nations.

Other major leadership roles led by Masino include Starbucks’ China business chief marketing officer and vice president of Strategy Americas and EMEA, Global Beverages, and Global Merchandise and Packaged Food.

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Masino said: “The confidence the Board has shown by entrusting the brand to me is humbling, and I’m excited to work with the more than 75,000 dedicated Cracker Barrel and Maple Street employees to drive the company’s growth for years to come.”

With Masino’s appointment as the new CEO and president, Cochran will become Cracker Barrel board’s executive chair through September next year.

The board’s current independent chair William McCarten will take up the role of lead independent director.

Cracker Barrel board chairman William McCarten said: “Sandy and the rest of the Board have spent years planning for Sandy’s succession and we are happy to see that work pay off today.

“She [Sandy Cochran] will add to that track record in her role as executive chair, as she transfers responsibilities and helps Julie assume the leadership of our brand.”