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Former ConAgra Exec Joins Foster Farms As CEO

Laura Flanagan
Laura Flanagan

Foster Farms, the West Coast’s leading poultry producer, has appointed Laura Flanagan president and CEO, effective Aug. 29.

Flanagan, 48, most recently served as president of the ConAgra Foods Snacks Division, one of North America’s leading suppliers of packaged foods. She will succeed Ron Foster, grandson of company founders Max and Verda Foster, as Foster Farms’ president and CEO. Foster previously announced his plans to step down. He will remain a Foster Farms owner and member of the board of directors.

“The board unanimously selected Laura Flanagan as the ideal executive to guide Foster Farms during a time of significant growth,” said Foster. “She has an impressive record of transforming and growing household consumer brands across an ever-shifting landscape. We are confident that her strategic approach will lead Foster Farms to new heights within the U.S. meat and poultry industry.”

Before taking leadership of the snacks division, Flanagan served as president of ConAgra’s Convenient Meals Division from 2008 to 2011, revitalizing and expanding key brands. She also led initiatives to promote diversity, develop internal talent and build skills and capabilities throughout ConAgra.

“Foster Farms is a strong competitor in the national poultry landscape in large part because of its family-owned roots and its steadfast commitment to truly locally grown, fresh poultry,” said Flanagan. “I intend to honor the Foster family’s legacy for excellence while growing the business, guiding our dedicated employees and maintaining the trust of a new generation of consumers who care deeply about the food they feed their families, especially organic and antibiotic-free poultry choices.”

Before joining ConAgra, Flanagan served as VP and chief marketing officer of Tropicana Shelf Stable Juices at PepsiCo and, from 1996 to 2005, held brand management positions at General Mills and PepsiCo. Earlier, she was a manufacturing engineer at Saturn Corp. She earned a MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1996.

Flanagan currently serves on the board of directors at Core-Mark International, one of North America’s largest marketers of fresh and broad-line supply solutions to the convenience retail industry.

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