Anthony “Tony” Simmons has been elected CEO of McIlhenny Co., maker of Tabasco brand products. He also will serve as interim chairman of the board until an independent chairman is selected. A great-great-grandson of Edmund McIlhenny, the creator of Tabasco sauce, Simmons is a member of the fifth generation of the McIlhenny family involved in the production of Tabasco sauce and is the seventh family member to assume company leadership. McIlhenny Co. is family owned and operated and based in Avery Island, La.
Currently serving as president, Simmons succeeds Paul C.P. McIlhenny, who died Feb. 23, as CEO. Simmons joined the board in 1998 and was elected EVP in 2000 and president in 2012. Prior to accepting the position with McIlhenny Co., Simmons was president and CEO of Manitowoc Southeastern, an independent crane distributor located in the Southeast.
A native of New Orleans, Simmons holds a degree in speech from Loyola University in New Orleans. An avid golfer and outdoor sportsman, he also is a fine wine enthusiast and aficionado of classic automobiles. Simmons and his wife Jeanie have a son and daughter and welcomed their first grandchild late last year.
Tabasco brand products are sold in more than 165 countries and territories around the world and labeled in 22 languages and dialects. The 144-year-old company makes a line of pepper sauces, including its original red Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce, Green Jalapeño Pepper Sauce, Chipotle Pepper Sauce, SWEET & Spicy Pepper Sauce, Habanero Sauce, Garlic Pepper Sauce and the newest addition, Buffalo Style Hot Sauce.