Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. ("Cracker Barrel" or the "Company") (Nasdaq: CBRL) today responded to a letter sent to its Board of Directors by Sardar Biglari, Chairman and CEO of Biglari Holdings, on October 8, 2012, concerning the background of James W. Bradford, a member of Cracker Barrel’s Board of Directors and its incoming Chairman. In his letter, Mr. Biglari calls into question one aspect of Mr. Bradford’s credentials.
Mr. Bradford was appointed to the Cracker Barrel Board in July 2011 and will become the independent Chairman of the Board next month. Since 2005, he has served as Dean and Ralph Owen Professor for the Practice of Management at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. He served as President and CEO of United Glass Corporation, a global glass fabricator, from 1999 to 2001, and as President and CEO of AFG Industries Inc., a vertically integrated glass manufacturing and fabrication company, from 1992 to 1999. Mr. Bradford first joined AFG Industries in 1984 as its general counsel, and during a portion of his tenure as general counsel the company was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). AFG Industries was taken private in 1988 and Mr. Bradford subsequently became President and CEO, thus leading a sizable corporation that had formerly been an NYSE-listed company.
Mr. Bradford did not represent to the Company’s Board that AFG was publicly traded during the time he served as CEO of that company. However, the wording of the Company’s proxy statement and subsequent statements was presented in a manner that suggested the contrary. The Company regrets any resulting misunderstanding. The facts remain that Mr. Bradford was indeed the CEO of AFG Industries and AFG Industries was an NYSE-listed company while Mr. Bradford was the general counsel and prior to his assuming the role of CEO.