For immediate release: Dec. 21, 2012
Clarence Otis Jr., chairman and chief executive officer, Darden Restaurants Inc., has been reelected, and Thomas A. Fanning, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Southern Company, has been reappointed to the Atlanta Fed's board of directors. Their terms begin Jan. 1, 2013, and run through Dec. 31, 2015.
Fanning became president of Southern Company in August 2010 and assumed the additional responsibilities of CEO and chairman in December 2010. He has worked for Southern Company for more than 30 years and has held 15 different positions in eight different business units, including numerous officer positions with a variety of Southern Company subsidiaries.
Fanning serves on the Georgia Tech College of Management Advisory Board and the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable.
Fanning earned bachelor's and master's degrees in industrial management from the Georgia Institute of Technology. His executive education includes programs at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland, the Harvard University School of Business and the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business.
Otis has served as chief executive officer since November 2004 and chairman of the board of directors of Darden Restaurants, Inc. since November 2005. Darden is headquartered in Orlando, Florida and is the world's largest full-service restaurant operating company with annual sales of $8.0 billion. The company owns and operates more than 2,000 restaurants in North America under the Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, The Capital Grille, Eddie V's and Yard House brands, employs 185,000 people and serves more than 400 million meals annually.
Otis started at Darden in 1995, joining the company as vice president and treasurer and progressing to chief financial and president of a Darden brand, before his current position. Prior to joining Darden, he led public finance for Chemical Securities, Inc. (now JP Morgan Securities, Inc.) He is a member of the boards of directors of VF Corporation and Verizon Communications, Inc.
A member of the New York Bar Association, he earned a JD degree from Stanford Law School and worked as a securities attorney in New York City for four years prior to his career in financial services. He graduated magna cum laude from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society, and currently serves on the school's board of trustees. In April 2007, Otis was presented with a Horatio Alger Award and inducted as a lifetime member of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.
Each of the nation's 12 Federal Reserve Banks has a nine-member board of directors. Three Class A directors are generally bankers and are elected by national and state-chartered banks that are members of the Federal Reserve System. Three Class B directors are also elected by these banks but represent commerce, industry, agriculture, labor and consumers. Three Class C directors represent the same broad array of public interests but are appointed by the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. The Reserve Bank's chair and deputy chair must be Class C directors. Otis is a Class B director, and Fanning is a Class C director.
The board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta oversees the management of the bank's operations and recommends changes in the discount rate. Board members also contribute to the formulation of U.S. monetary policy through the economic information they provide the bank's president.