Companies’ Talent Trading Hints at Future Growth Plans

Carol Ortenberg

The past weeks have seen a variety of announcements to changes to several food companies and management teams. The announcements bring with them a look into the possible blueprints for these companies’ plans for 2016.

Beyond Meat:
This plant-based alternative protein company saw a slew of new hires this week.

Mark M

Mark Mortimer will be assuming the newly created role of Chief Commercial Officer. Formerly the President and Chief Customer Officer of Annie’s, Inc, Mortimer is credited with helping the brand with its IPO and subsequent acquisition by General Mills. Jerry Joyce also joins the Beyond Meat team as COO from FIJI water, where he held the same title. Joyce has a long history working in supply chain management and operations with a variety of companies ranging from JUSTIN Wines to Neptune Pacific Line. Finally Beyond Meat has brought on Mark Nelson to assume the role of CFO from Farmer Brother Co.

Not content to just add to the leadership team, the startup also has built out its Board of Directors. In an almost ironic move, Beyond Meat added Don Thompson to the board, formerly the CEO of beef burger behemoth McDonald’s Corporation. Seth Goldman was also announced as the new Executive Chairman of the Board. Goldman, a board member since 2013, is stepping down from his role as CEO at Honest Tea (which he co-founded) in part, to focus more on this new role.

The robust slate of talent that Beyond Meat has added, as well as their recent announcement to pursue another round of funding, speaks to an increased focus in 2016 on ramping up production, sales and distribution


David Ritterbush

The innovative snack company, which is consider a founding father in the “popped” snack movement, announced a change to leadership with new Chief Executive Officer David Ritterbush. Formerly CEO of Premier Nutrition Company, Post Holding’s “active nutrition” company and one that that purchased brands Powerbar and Joint Juice, Ritterbush has deep experience taking products and shaping them into larger lifestyle brands. He was also the VP/GM at lifestyle and beverage brand, Red Bull.

Back to Nature
At Back to Nature, Daniel Anglemyer has been appointed as CMO. A press release said that Anglemyer will ensure that the venerable SnackWell and Back to Nature brands “are well-positioned to experience continued growth as the company expands product offerings and product categories.” Prior to joining the natural snack food company, Anglemyer was Director of Sales Planning and Strategy at Mondelez International Nabisco Snacks Division. A team that has been widely lauded for its creative and unique limited edition/seasonal snack offerings that plan on innovative flavors and trends.

Shaw’s Supermarkets

Joe Kelly

In perhaps one of the biggest steals of the week, Albertsons/Supervalu announced Joe Kelly as its VP of Marketing and Merchandising for its New England Shaw’s and Star Markets division. Kelly was previously the President of Ahold USA’s Stop and Shop – a key rival for Shaw’s.

As retailers in the crowded New England market struggle with cannibalization (both from rivals and from same stores), having an industry insider may give Albertson’s the edge they need, especially as they update some of their older Star Markets to be more “upscale.”


Meijer Tod Pepin with logo

Also in the grocery space, Tod Pepin has been appointed Meijer’s Senior Vice President of Foods. Pepin joins the retailer after spending 30 years at Delhaize America. Most of his career was with Delhaize’s Hannaford Brothers, but recently he served as the parent brand’s Senior Vice President of Merchandising Governance, Private Brands and Business Planning.

Pepin has been praised for his robust experience in grocery and fresh products — the latter category becoming more key to retailer success given the increased consumer focus on perimeter categories.

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