Kim Lopdrup has served as CEO of Red Lobster since it was acquired by Golden Gate Capital on July 28, 2014. Red Lobster operates in 12 countries and is the world’s largest seafood restaurant company, with approximately 50,000 employees and $2.5 billion in annual revenues.
Since becoming an independent company, Red Lobster has built an outstanding team and improved its food, service, convenience and value. It has invested over $100 million to upgrade kitchen equipment, improve ingredients and add new technology. It has also unveiled its Seafood with Standards commitments, including that all of Red Lobster’s seafood is traceable, sustainable and responsibly-sourced. As a result of these initiatives and investments, off-premise sales have more than doubled, and in 2019 Red Lobster was named to Forbes magazine’s 2019 list of America’s Most Reputable Companies and its 2019 list of America’s Best Large Employers.
Before joining Red Lobster, Kim served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, North America, for Burger King Corporation. He led that company’s 8,500 North American restaurants to record guest satisfaction scores in both company-owned and franchised restaurants, contributing to a turn-around of declining same-store sales.
Earlier, Kim spent 16 years with Allied Domecq Quick Service Restaurants (now called Dunkin’ Brands), the franchisor of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins. He turned around Dunkin’ Donuts’ previously-declining coffee business as that brand’s Product Marketing Manager for Beverages. Later, as Vice President of Marketing, he managed Dunkin’s iconic “Time to Make the Donuts” ad campaign starring Fred the Baker. And, as Chief Executive Officer of Allied Domecq’s 3,500-unit international division, he took that business from record losses to record profits and dramatically accelerated its growth.
Kim began his career in brand management at Procter & Gamble, working on Folgers and High Point coffees and Citrus Hill orange juice.
He currently serves on the board of Wawa, Inc., an innovative convenience store retailer, and Bob Evans Restaurants. He also serves on the board of Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida where he was named Board Member of the Year in 2011 and received National Service to Youth award in 2010 and 2015. Kim earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary and an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
Salli Setta was named President of Red Lobster in July 2013 and added the role of Chief Concept Officer to her responsibilities in March 2018. In this role, Salli is responsible for leading all brand, menu and experience innovation and for marketing and communicating the brand through both traditional media and new channels. Her responsibilities also include Public Relations and Seafood with Standards as well as Human Resources Administration and Restaurant Support Center Human Resources.
As President, Salli was part of the leadership team that helped Red Lobster become an independent, privately-held company, leading the organization through significant change. She developed and aligned the company to a simple strategy -- Great Seafood, Great People and Great Results – that seeks to play to Red Lobster’s strengths, helps the company build on its strong foundation and ultimately grow the company long-term. Under Salli’s leadership, Red Lobster introduced a new, simpler, seafood-centric menu, introduced bigger, better shrimp and implemented numerous operations initiatives and simplifications.
Prior to being named President, Salli served as the brand’s Executive Vice President of Marketing for eight years, where she led a comprehensive brand refresh and made extensive culinary changes.
Salli is the recipient of multiple industry awards. She has been recognized as one of Orlando Business Journal’s “Women Who Mean Business” and is a 2017 inductee to the Rosen College of Hospitality Management’s Hall of Fame. She is also a three-time Menu Masters Award winner, and in 2003, she was named Restaurant Business’ “Menu Strategist of the Year” and one of Nation’s Restaurant News’ “Top 50 R&D Culinarians.” And, she is the recipient of a Silver Effie for Olive Garden’s “Hospitaliano” advertising campaign.
Salli holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communication from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. She also completed the Women’s Senior Leadership Program at the Kellogg School of Management. Salli currently serves as Treasurer on the Board of the Women’s Foodservice Forum, the foodservice industry's premier Leadership Development resource, and she is a member of the Restaurant Industry Executive Council.
Tom Gathers is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Orlando, FL based Red Lobster Seafood Company. Red Lobster operates 704 company owned restaurants in the USA and Canada, has 52 franchised international locations, employs over 50,000 people and has annual sales of $2.4 billion. In his capacity, Tom has responsibility for all restaurant operations as well as talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations and training & development.
Prior to his current role, Tom served as SVP, Human Resources for Darden Restaurants, Inc. during a 25 year career. Most recently, Gathers had senior HR responsibility for LongHorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, Seasons 52, Yardhouse, Bahama Breeze, International franchising, Lobster Aquaculture, and Consumer Package Goods. Red Lobster is a spin-off from Darden. During his 41 year career, Tom has been an executive officer for public restaurant companies trading on the AMEX, NASDAQ and NYSE exchanges.
Tom earned a B.A. degree from Indiana University of PA and an M.S. degree from The University of Miami (FL). Tom serves on several non-profit boards and is a past president of CHART (Council of Hotel/Restaurant Training). He has been married to his wife, Melanie, for 40 years and they have 2 married daughters.
HORACE G. DAWSON, III, EVP
Horace Dawson is Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Red Lobster, the world’s largest seafood restaurant company with more than 700 restaurants in North America and over 50,000 employees. In this role, Horace leads legal affairs and is also responsible for international operations, government and community relations, and sustainability.
Prior to joining Red Lobster in July 2014, Horace was Vice President and Division General Counsel for Darden Restaurants, Inc. During his eleven years at Darden, his practice areas included litigation, employment, intellectual property, advertising, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, international, commercial, purchasing, distribution and new business development.
Horace also has experience in private practice, having handled matters in the corporate and securities areas in the Orlando office of Akerman LLP, a national law firm.
From 1996 to 2001, Horace served as Vice President of Business Affairs and General Counsel of Hard Rock Cafe International, the restaurant, merchandising, hotel and live music venue chain. Prior to joining Hard Rock, Horace practiced in the entertainment, securities, corporate, and communications areas for Telemundo Network, the Spanish language television broadcaster and for New York City law firms.
Horace received his undergraduate, law and masters of business administration degrees from Harvard University.
Horace serves on the Boards of Directors of the National Restaurant Association, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and the Restaurant Law Center.
Red Lobster is the world's largest seafood restaurant company, headquartered in Orlando, Fla., with an impressive heritage and an even brighter future. As a private company, owned by Golden Gate Capital, Red Lobster is focused on delivering freshly-prepared seafood at reasonable prices served in a lively, contemporary seaside atmosphere. With over 50,000 employees in over 700 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, and a growing international footprint, Red Lobster is more committed than ever to being not just the biggest seafood restaurant, but the best.
Bill Lambert is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Orlando, FL based Red Lobster Seafood Company. Red Lobster operates 704 company owned restaurants in the USA and Canada, has 45 franchised restaurants in nine other countries and one U.S. territory (Puerto Rico), employs over 50,000 people, and has annual sales of $2.5 billion. In his capacity, Bill has responsibility for Accounting, Tax, Corporate Reporting, Financial Planning & Analysis, Supply Chain, Information Systems, Real Estate and Facilities.
Prior to his current role, Bill served as SVP, Finance at Darden, most recently overseeing the Finance functions for LongHorn Steakhouse and Darden’s International Businesses. He originally joined Darden in 2006 as SVP, Finance for Red Lobster before rotating to LongHorn in 2010.
Prior to joining Darden, Bill spent 21 years with Federated Department Stores. He began his career at Federated in 1984 as a manager of financial planning and analysis with the company’s Mainstreet Division in Chicago. He then held a variety of positions in progressively more responsible roles leading to his position as Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer for Macy’s Central. In this role, he was responsible for Finance, Accounting, Merchandise Planning and Information Systems for the $2.1B department store division covering the southeast section of the United States.
Bill earned a BS degree from Duke University and his MBA from University of Michigan. He currently serves as Vice Chairman for the City of Orlando Downtown Development Board and the Community Redevelopment Agency Advisory Board.