William M. Lewis, Jr. Elected to Darden Restaurants Board
...ORLANDO, Fla., March 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) has elected William M. Lewis, Jr., Managing Director and Co- Chairman of Investment Banking at Lazard Freres & Co.
LLC, to its board of directors, effective June 2005.Darden
owns and operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze and Smokey Bones Barbeque & Grill restaurant companies.
brings a wealth of experience to Darden
, including strong expertise in corporate strategy generally and financial strategy in particular.
..."Bill is a highly respected financial services industry leader and will be a tremendous asset to our company."
"I am delighted to be joining the board of one of the premier casual dining companies in the world," said Lewis
further strengthens our talented Board." Prior to joining Lazard in 2004, Mr. Lewis was a Managing Director and Co- Head of the Global Banking Department at Morgan Stanley, where he was responsible for the firm's global industry practices and regions.Between 1994 and 2004, Mr. Lewis was head or co-head of each of Morgan Stanley's origination and execution businesses.
In addition to the Global Banking Department, these businesses included the Global Mergers and Acquisition Department and Morgan Stanley
Realty, the firm's real estate investment banking and investing businesses. Mr. Lewis
is involved in a number of not-for-profit activities, including the New York City Department of Education Fund for Public Schools, the American Museum of Natural History, the Central Park Conservancy, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Phillips Academy, and the Cancer Research Institute
.He has served as treasurer of the National Urban League and chairman of A Better Chance.Mr. Lewis was elected to the board of Freddie Mac in November 2004. Mr. Lewis was born in Richmond, Virginia.He graduated with honors in economics from Harvard College and earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.Mr. Lewis is married to Carol Sutton Lewis, a lawyer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.