Kind Healthy Snacks‘ longtime President and COO John Leahy is retiring from the company. Mike Barkley, who joined the company in 2010, will replace Leahy and lead the company into the future as Kind sets its sights on innovation and category disruption. Leahy will leave behind a legacy of achievement, transparency and compassion but will assume a strategic adviser role in is retirement.
As president and COO, Barkley, who recently held leadership roles at Pinnacle Foods and Boulder Brands, will help grow the company’s portfolio, purpose and potential. He will work alongside Founder and CEO Daniel Lubetzky, who created the company 15 years ago.
“Daniel’s vision and passion coupled with John’s business acumen and work ethic drew me to Kind. Over the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to work directly with John. During this transitional phase, I’ve experienced many of his signature qualities, including honesty, professionalism and an unwavering commitment to Kind. It’s no wonder he helped grow this company into what it is today,” said Barkley.
As operating partner to Lubetzky, Leahy helped fuel the company’s growth. When he joined the company, the company sold nine whole nut bars; employed 30 team members; and generated roughly $20MM in revenue. Today, Kind offers more than 70 different snacks and employs more than 700 full- and part-time team members. From sales and operations to product development and human resources, the 42-year CPG veteran Leahy touched many aspects of the business, built a leadership team, cemented the company’s culture and set Kind on a path to becoming a health and wellness leader domestically and globally.
“John had an illustrious career before Kind and took a chance on us when he came to our overcrowded office running in startup mode. We were lucky that he even looked our way,” said Lubetzky. “I owe a tremendous amount to John, not just for his mastery of the business and desire to service customers with excellence and long-term orientation, but also for his loyalty, mentorship, exemplary work ethic and values and ability to have fun along the way. While I will miss our daily partnership, ours is a lifetime friendship that will endure.”
During his tenure, Leahy opened the club channel and launched key accounts in the mass class of trade. In the process, he helped expand Kind’s distribution from approximately 25,000 outlets to 250,000. Beyond his accomplishments, colleagues say they will remember Leahy’s commitment to excellence and steadfast moral compass.
When asked what he hopes the team will remember about him, Leahy says, “I hope they will say he was all in, all the time, for the Kind team members.”
Since its founding in 2004, Kind began as a line of premium fruit and nut bars with the creation of an entirely new healthier snacking category.
All snacks are gluten free, do not contain genetically engineered ingredients and are not sweetened with sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.