A news release from Cracker Barrel said 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 Universitys 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.
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 Bradford subsequently became President and CEO, thus leading a sizable corporation that had formerly been an NYSE-listed company.
Bradford did not represent to Cracker Barrels Board that AFG was publicly traded during the time he served as CEO of that company. However, the wording of the Companys proxy statement and subsequent statements was presented in a manner that suggested the contrary, the news release said, adding the company regrets any resulting misunderstanding.
The facts remain that Bradford was indeed the CEO of AFG Industries and AFG Industries was an NYSE-listed company while he was the general counsel and prior to his assuming the role of CEO.
Bradfords extensive business and academic experience is beyond reproach, and he has already contributed significantly to the companys board, as one of several new directors who have helped to oversee the companys successful operating performance over the past year, the news release said.
The accusations and innuendo in Mr. Biglaris letter represent a continuation of his contentious rhetoric.We urge shareholders not to be distracted by Mr. Biglaris proxy fight and instead focus on the Companys business and strong operating results, said Sandra B. Cochran, chief executive officer of Cracker Barrel.
Biglari has for a number of months sought a seat on Cracker Barrels board. He recently refused an offer from the board to appoint two independent members. Biglari at last report owned a 17.5 percent stake in Cracker Barrel and has been waging a proxy battle for two seats on the board.
Biglari Holdings Inc. was recently fined $850,000 in a civil penalty by the U.S. Department of Justice to settle charges that it violated premerger reporting and waiting requirements when it acquired significant stock in Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc.
For more information about Cracker Barrel, visit crackerbarrel.com.