Parsippany, New Jersey-based B&G Foods and Kenneth G. Romanzi, president and CEO, as well as a member of the board of directors, have mutually agreed that Romanzi would step aside as president, CEO and director, effective Nov. 15, to pursue personal interests. To ensure an orderly transition, the board has appointed David L. Wenner, a current member of the board of directors and former president and CEO of B&G Foods, as interim president and CEO.
The company will initiate a search for a new president and CEO via a special committee appointed by the board of directors, to direct the search and transition process. The committee is chaired by Dennis M. Mullen, chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee, as well as DeAnn L. Brunts, Charles F. Marcy and Robert D. Mills.
“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at B&G Foods and am very proud of all of our accomplishments. The business is in excellent shape, and I am confident the team will continue to deliver terrific results. I wish the entire B&G Foods family all the best for a bright future,” Romanzi said.
“On behalf of our entire company, I want to thank Ken for his contributions to B&G Foods’ success over the past three years as our chief operating officer and then CEO and for navigating B&G Foods through these unprecedented times and helping keep our dedicated employees safe and healthy. I wish Ken continued success in his future endeavors,” said Stephen C. Sherrill, chairman of the board of directors of B&G Foods.
“Under Ken’s leadership, B&G Foods’ financial performance has been very strong during the ongoing pandemic, as our portfolio of leading brands has benefited from increased eating at home, resulting in strong year-over-year growth. The company is in excellent operational and financial condition as evidenced by the quarterly and year-to-date financial results we reported earlier this month… All in all, we believe this is a good time to make a leadership transition, and we are very fortunate that our former long-time CEO Dave Wenner, who has continued to serve on our board of directors, is now available and has agreed to help lead our company while we search for our next CEO.”
“I am very excited for the opportunity to once again lead our company, work with our talented executive leadership team and reinforce the principles and strategies that have helped create tremendous value for all of our stakeholders over the years,” Wenner said. “We will continue to focus on growth, including organic growth and growth through acquisitions, operational improvements and cost reduction efforts.”
B&G Foods also reaffirmed the full year fiscal 2020 financial guidance that was provided by the company in its earnings release on Nov. 5, 2020.
The announcement is not expected to impact the timing of the completion of the pending Crisco acquisition. B&G Foods expects the acquisition to close during the fourth quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing conditions, including the receipt of regulatory approvals.
Wenner has been a member of B&G Foods’ board of directors since 1997. He served as the company’s president and CEO from March 1993 through December 2014. Wenner joined B&G Foods in 1989 as the assistant to the president and was directly responsible for distribution and bloch and guggenheimer operations. In 1991, he was promoted to VP and assumed responsibility for all company manufacturing operations. Prior to joining B&G Foods, Wenner spent 13 years at Johnson & Johnson in supervision and management positions, responsible for manufacturing, maintenance and purchasing. He has been active in industry trade groups and has served on the Chairman’s Advisory Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Having previously served as the president and CEO of B&G Foods for 22 years, Wenner brings to B&G Foods’ executive leadership team and the board an extraordinary understanding of the Company’s business, history and organization. His training as an engineer at the U.S. Naval Academy and prior experience in various senior leadership at B&G Foods and Johnson & Johnson, together with his many years of day-to-day leadership and intimate knowledge of B&G Foods’ business and operations, provide the company’s executive leadership team and the board with invaluable insight into the operations of the company. Wenner also provides strong insight and guidance regarding potential acquisitions and acquisition financing as under his leadership as president and CEO, B&G Foods successfully acquired and integrated into the company’s operations dozens of brands.