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Clothing Executive Named CEO of Central Garden & Pet

Posted: Jan. 8, 2013, 2:45 p.m. EST


John R. Ranelli will take over as president and CEO of Central Garden & Pet Co., the Walnut Creek, Calif.-based company reported Monday.

Ranelli, whose appointment is effective Feb. 11, will replace Bill Brown as CEO. Brown will remain chairman of Central Garden & Pet, whose pet brands include Aqueon, Zilla, Kaytee, Super Pet and Nylabone.

The new president is a Central Garden & Pet board member and most recently was CEO of Woolrich Inc., an outdoor clothing company based in Woolrich, Pa. He previously served as CEO of the dinnerware and home accessories company Mikasa Inc. and of the optical company FGX International.

 John Ranelli
John R. Ranelli
Photo courtesy of Woolrich Inc.
Brown called his successor “a leader on our board and a trusted partner.”

“His close to 40 years of experience in building consumer products companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded consumer products company,” Brown said.

“While we have considerable work yet to do, Central is a different company today than it was a year ago,” Brown continued. “We are transforming Central from what was essentially a collection of over 20 operating companies into an integrated organization. We are focused on building our brands and introducing innovative new products to the marketplace. We are eliminating redundant costs and pursuing a plan to achieve significant savings over the next few years.”

Ranelli, 65, signaled that he would continue Central’s investments in marketing and new products.

“I am confident that as we strengthen our customer relationships, develop stronger ties with the consumer and continue to improve our execution, we will deliver the sustainable, profitable growth that we expect of our company and create meaningful value for our shareholders,” Ranelli said.

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