Last updated on March 25th, 2021 at 07:18 pm
B&G Foods Inc. CEO Robert C. Cantwell plans to retire from the company, headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey, on April 5, 2019.
Cantwell’s retirement will bring to a close a career of more than 35 years of continuous service to B&G Foods, including approximately 23 years of leadership as EVP of finance and CFO and more than four years of leadership as president and CEO. Following his retirement, it is expected that Cantwell will continue to advise the company on M&A and capital markets transactions.
In accordance with a succession plan established in 2017, B&G Foods’ board of directors has appointed Kenneth G. Romanzi, currently serving as the company’s EVP and COO, as its next president and CEO, effective upon Cantwell’s retirement. At such time, Romanzi will also replace Cantwell on the board of directors.
“Bob Cantwell has been a key member of our management team for more than 35 years. During Mr. Cantwell’s tenure, B&G Foods has completed more than twenty acquisitions and grown from a small, regional pickle company to a leading public food company with a diverse portfolio of iconic brands. As CEO over the last four years, Mr. Cantwell has transformed B&G Foods by completing six acquisitions, including the Green Giant acquisition and the spices and seasonings acquisition, the two largest acquisitions in company history, and the company’s net sales have approximately doubled during Mr. Cantwell’s tenure as CEO,” said Stephen C. Sherrill, chairman of the board of directors.
“Bob’s long list of accomplishments, including in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, operational improvements and cost reduction efforts, has helped lead to tremendous value creation for B&G Foods’ stockholders over the years,” Sherrill continued. “Bob and his management team achieved this through hard work, passion and determination and most importantly, with honesty and integrity. On behalf of our entire board of directors, I express our sincere gratitude to Bob for his invaluable and devoted service to B&G Foods and for his innumerable contributions to B&G Foods as president and CEO and before that as CFO.”
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as president and CEO and CFO of B&G Foods over the last 35 years,” said Cantwell. “I am very proud of the tremendous growth we have achieved over that time and would like to thank my senior leadership team and each and every employee of B&G Foods. We could not have achieved this growth without their extraordinary efforts.
“During the past year, Ken has demonstrated that he has the experience and leadership skills to successfully lead B&G Foods to its next phase of growth. Ken has been a terrific partner, and I am confident that he is the right person to guide B&G Foods into the future. I look forward to continuing to work with Ken and B&G Foods’ strong M&A and capital markets transactions team, led by CFO Bruce Wacha and General Counsel Scott Lerner to help B&G Foods achieve its long-term growth objectives.”
Commenting on his appointment, Romanzi said, “I am truly honored and humbled to follow Bob Cantwell as president and CEO of B&G Foods. I am very appreciative of the tremendous support that Bob and the board of directors have provided to me and the confidence they have placed in me. I have learned a lot from Bob and the other members of the B&G Foods management team over the past year, and I look forward to continuing B&G Foods’ mission of bringing delicious food from our family to yours and creating stockholder value through high-margin brands and a disciplined acquisition strategy and by returning a meaningful portion of our excess cash to our stockholders.”
Romanzi joined B&G Foods in 2017 as EVP and COO. Prior to that, he served as president, fresh foods at WhiteWave Foods Corp., from March 2016 to October 2017, where he led Earthbound Farm Organic. Prior to joining WhiteWave, Romanzi, served as SVP and COO global brands of Ocean Spray Cranberries from 2013 to 2015, and as SVP and COO of Ocean Spray’s North American food and beverage business from 2004 to 2013. Before that, Romanzi served as president, U.S. toys division of Hasbro Inc.; president and CEO of Ultimate Juice Co.; and president and CEO of Balducci’s Direct, a gourmet food catalog business. Romanzi also served in positions of increasing responsibility at Nabisco Inc., including president of Nabisco Refrigerated Foods and SVP sales & distribution of Nabisco Biscuit Co., and served at Cadbury Schweppes as VP marketing and strategic planning, North America. Romanzi began his career in marketing at Frito-Lay Inc.
Based in Parsippany, New Jersey, B&G Foods and subsidiaries manufacture, sell and distribute branded, shelf-stable and frozen foods across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico.