Mr. Otis, 56, has been Chairman of Darden Restaurants, Inc., a restaurant holding company, since 2005 and Chief Executive Officer since 2004. Darden Restaurants is the largest company-owned and operated full-service restaurant company in the world. As of May 27, 2012, the company’s 180,000 employees operated 1,994 restaurants in the United States and Canada and generated fiscal 2012 sales of $8.0 billion. Mr. Otis joined Darden in 1995 as Vice President and Treasurer and held positions of increasing responsibility, including serving as Chief Financial Officer from 1999 until 2002, Executive Vice President from 2002 to 2004 and President of Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill, a restaurant concept formerly owned and operated by Darden Restaurants, from 2002 to 2004. In addition, Mr. Otis has served as a class B director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta since 2010. In that role, he contributes to the formulation of monetary policy, oversight of the bank’s operational risk management and the review and appointment of senior management of the bank.
Mr. Otis brings to the Board, among other skills and qualifications, a broad background in consumer services, retail operations and finance, which are critical areas for Verizon. He has extensive business, leadership and management experience. Mr. Otis leads a complex organization with a large, diverse workforce, which gives him a thorough understanding of many of the operational challenges Verizon faces. In addition, as a result of his experience at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Mr. Otis is positioned well to advise the Board and senior management on risk management, which is an important area for a large, complex organization like Verizon.
Mr. Otis has served as a Director of Verizon since 2006 and is a member of the Audit Committee, the Finance Committee and the Human Resources Committee. He has been a director of Darden Restaurants since 2004 and Chairman since 2005. He is also a director of VF Corporation (since 2004).