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J.M. Smucker Co.’s Head of Pet Food is Leaving Company


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J. M. Smucker Co.’s executive leadership structure and team are undergoing quite a few changes, or “evolution” as officials said in a statement. As part of these executive leadership changes, Dave Lemmon, president of pet food and pet snacks, is no longer in a leadership role, and will be exiting the company in early December.

In the meantime, the pet food and pet snacks business will be led on an interim basis by Rob Ferguson, senior vice president of pet food and pet snacks (interim) and supply chain. Ferguson has more than 14 years of management experience in the pet category. Ferguson will receive counsel from Jeff Watters, former president and CEO of Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, who will bring more than 12 years of experience in the pet food category to his new role as strategic advisor.

Kevin Jackson, senior vice president of U.S. retail sales and away from home, will also be leaving the company in December.

Company officials said that they have already initiated a search process for both roles, inclusive of external candidates.

The company has also established a chief operating officer role. The position will provide strategic and operational oversight of the company’s U.S. pet food and pet snacks, coffee, consumer foods and North American away from home businesses, as well as its operations and supply chain functions.

Leadership changes also included Geoff Tanner, senior vice president of growth and consumer engagement, being elected as chief marketing and commercial officer; Jill Penrose, senior vice president of human resources and corporate communications, being elected as chief people and administrative officer; Amy Held, senior vice president of corporate strategy, M&A and international, being elected as chief strategy and international officer; Jeannette Knudsen, senior vice president of general counsel and secretary, being elected as chief legal and compliance officer and secretary; and Tucker Marshall, vice president of finance, being promoted to senior vice president and deputy chief financial officer (CFO).

The new executive leadership structure, effective Nov. 25, is designed to sharpen the company’s focus on strategic initiatives, enhance accountability for business delivery, streamline decision making and enable greater agility to ensure delivery of strategic and financial priorities, according to officials.

“This planned evolution of our leadership structure is an important step to ensure we are positioned to meet and exceed the needs of today and tomorrow’s retailers and consumers,” said Mark Smucker, president and CEO of the Orrville, Ohio-based company. “The Board of Directors and I are confident the changes we are making will strengthen our company and ensure each of our 7,591 talented employees are empowered and focused on delivering our strategy, which creates value for our shareholders and all constituents.”

The company also announced that vice chair and CFO, Mark Belgya, will retire Sept. 1, 2020, and Tucker Marshall, vice president of finance, will succeed Belgya as CFO following the completion of the current fiscal year on May 1, 2020.

 

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