Downers Grove, Illinois-based Hearthside Food Solutions has appointed Darlene Nicosia as its CEO. She succeeds Chuck Metzger, who is leaving the post after five years as part of a long-term succession plan.
Most recently, Nicosia served as president of Coca-Cola’s Canada and Northeast U.S. Zone. She brings more than 30 years of food industry experience with roles at The Coca-Cola Company, Kraft and PepsiCo.
A supply chain and operations executive, she previously held leadership roles at The Coca-Cola Company that spanned 29 years and included running the company’s global commercial product supply organization and serving as its chief procurement officer.
Hearthside is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners and Partners Group. John Flannery, Charlesbank managing director, said, “We sought a senior executive with proven abilities to foster and deliver transformational change across an enterprise and are delighted to have found Darlene Nicosia to lead this organization. Her strong operational credentials, deep industry relationships and experience managing complex businesses in the food category will immediately benefit the business.”
Nicosia’s appointment comes at an important time in Hearthside’s growth. The company expanded during the COVID-19 crisis, adding six additional bakeries in the past year. The demand for outsourced manufacturing has continued to grow. Hearthside believes that future growth belongs to firms that can form preferred partner relationships with leading brands, delivering superior performance and value.
“For me, it’s all about teams learning and growing together, achieving ever-greater levels of performance, deepening commitment to our customers and striving to be their preferred partner. With three decades at one of the world’s great consumer brands, I have seen what is possible when people, process, and purpose unite,” Nicosia said.
“Hearthside’s organization and culture are poised for transformational performance and growth, and I look forward to leading the company on that valuable mission.”
Chris Russell, a managing director at Partners Group, said, “The board is grateful to Chuck Metzger for his tremendous dedication and valuable contributions over the last several years. Under his leadership, Hearthside has made significant market and product accomplishments that will serve the company well in its next phase of growth.”