Sector News

Flowers Foods names new COO

May 29, 2019
Food & Drink

Flowers Foods, Inc. has announced several key appointments in connection with the company’s management succession plan.

Bradley K. Alexander, president of Flowers’ Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit, has been promoted to chief operating officer. In his new role he will be responsible for oversight of the company’s Fresh Packaged Bread and Snacking/Specialty Business Units, supply chain and sales. He also will be responsible for driving the execution of Flowers’ strategic initiatives.

Mr. Alexander joined Flowers in 1981 and has held positions in sales, operations, and marketing, including bakery president, regional vice-president and president of Flowers Bakeries. He was named executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Flowers Foods in 2014 and president of the company’s Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit in 2017.

“We are fortunate to have an executive of Brad’s experience, who has served as c.o.o. in the past, return to this important position,” said Ryals McMullian, who took over as president and chief executive officer at Flowers’ May 23 annual shareholders meeting. “When we put our new organizational structure in place in 2017, we asked him to lead the formation and development of our new Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit as president. Brad built a best-in-class team, integrated that team into our new organizational structure, and developed an atmosphere of creativity, accountability, and execution. With the new structure firmly in place, I am delighted to have him back in this role as a key strategic adviser. Brad will continue to build on the work we’ve already done to make Flowers a more agile, efficient and profitable company.”

Succeeding Mr. Alexander as president of the Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit is H. Mark Courtney, who most recently was senior vice-president of retail accounts. In his new role he will be responsible for driving innovation, growth and profitability across the company’s key core and growth brands, including Nature’s Own, Wonder, Dave’s Killer Bread and Canyon Bakehouse.

Mr. Courtney joined the company in 1983 and has held positions in sales and marketing, including executive vice-president of Flowers’ specialty snack business. He was named senior vice-president of sales in 2008 and senior vice-president of retail accounts in 2017.

“As leader of our Fresh Packaged Bread Business Unit, Mark’s understanding of marketplace dynamics and retail partners will guide our key core and growth brands in today’s rapidly changing retail environment,” Mr. McMullian said. “He has more than 35 years’ experience in retail sales, category management and the baking industry, and I expect Mark to continue to drive innovation and profitable brand growth.”

Flowers also announced that Stephen R. Avera, chief legal counsel, will retire at the end of the year. Stephanie B. Tillman, the company’s vice-president, chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel, will succeed Mr. Avera on Jan. 1, 2020.

Ms. Tillman joined the company as a corporate attorney in 1995 and was promoted to vice-president and associate general counsel; vice-president of compliance and assistant general counsel; and vice-president, chief compliance officer and deputy general counsel.

“It’s a testament to Flowers’ succession planning that we have someone of such high caliber as Stephanie to transition to the role of chief legal counsel,” Mr. McMullian said. “Since joining Flowers’ legal team in 1995, Stephanie has handled a broad range of legal matters, modernized our compliance capabilities, and consistently provided outstanding counsel and sound judgment to senior leadership. We look forward to her future contributions.”

By Eric Schroeder

Source: Food Business News

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