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Whole Earth Brands Releases CEO Transition Plan

Whole Earth Brands

Chicago-based Whole Earth Brands has announced that Albert Manzone will step down as CEO and member of its board of directors to pursue other business opportunities, effective Jan. 1.

The board has appointed Michael Franklin to serve as the company’s interim CEO. After Jan. 1, Manzone will assist the company and Franklin in the transition through Feb. 28.

“On behalf of the board, we thank Albert Manzone for his service to Whole Earth Brands over the last seven years, including his contributions in taking Whole Earth Brands public and leading the company through the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic,” said Irwin D. Simon, executive chairman.

“Since Michael’s appointment to the board in August, he has immersed himself in the business and has made excellent contributions – his objective approach and experience working with organizations and their people to enhance operational efficiencies and focus on long-term value creation made him an ideal candidate for the Interim CEO position and we look forward to his future contributions.”

Manzone stated, “I am very proud of what our team at Whole Earth Brands has been able to accomplish, and I am confident in their ability to drive continued growth in the exciting sweetener category. I have enjoyed working with Mr. Franklin since he joined the board and I look forward to assisting him as he transitions into his new role. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to lead this great company and wish the team continued success.”

In addition to serving on the board since August, Franklin is a partner at Mariposa Capital, a Miami-based family investment firm focused on long-term value creation across various industries, including consumer packaged goods. In his role at Mariposa, he supports operational improvements and M&A execution across a portfolio of companies.

Franklin also serves as a board member of Royal Oak Enterprises and Curio Brands Holdings. Prior to joining Mariposa, he served as a private investor at Viking Global Investors LP. He started his career in investment banking at Centerview Partners.

Whole Earth Brands has an impressive portfolio of brands and an experienced team,” Franklin said. “I look forward to working with our leadership team and our dedicated employees around the world during this transition to continue building momentum with our leading brands while addressing opportunities in adjacent categories. I firmly believe in the long-term potential of this company and our ability to deliver value for shareholders.

“Looking ahead, the business remains well positioned heading into 2023. Through a combination of organic revenue growth, driven by new innovation and distribution, and our unrelenting focus on productivity, we continue to expect to generate positive free cash flow next year and improve our capital structure.”

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