Tom Gathers is Chief Operating Officer for Orlando, FL based Red Lobster Seafood Company. Red Lobster operates 704 company owned restaurants in the U.S. and Canada, has 45 international franchised locations and employs more than 55,000 people. In his current role, he is responsible for leading restaurant execution and people development. He leads a team of eight Vice Presidents of Operations, along with the talent acquisition, employee relations and training departments.
Previously, Tom served as Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Red Lobster, responsible for talent acquisition, talent management, employee relations, compensation and benefits, HR systems, training and development and risk management.
Prior to joining the Red Lobster team, Tom served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Darden Restaurants, Inc. He had senior HR responsibility for LongHorn Steakhouse, Capital Grille, Eddie V’s, Seasons 52, Yardhouse, Bahama Breeze, and Darden’s Business Development and International Franchising group. During his more than 40 year career, Tom has been an executive officer for public restaurant companies trading on the AMEX, NASDAQ and NYSE exchanges.
Tom earned a B.A. degree from Indiana University of PA and an M.S. degree from The University of Miami (FL). Tom serves on several non-profit boards and is a past president of CHART (Council of Hotel/Restaurant Training). He has been married to his wife, Melanie, for 40 years and they have two married daughters.