Schwan Food Co., Marshall, Minn., announced Dimitrios Smyrnios, a former PepsiCo and Nestle executive, has taken over as CEO, succeeding Gregory Flack. Just two weeks earlier the company announced that Flack was departing as CEO, COO and president, effective October 4, 2013.
“After a thorough and deliberate search process, the board of directors concluded that Dimitrios Smyrnios is the right leader to strengthen our company moving forward," said Allan Schuman, chairman of the board. "He is a proven leader with a strong track record in profitably growing businesses. Importantly, he is deeply familiar with our business, having spent his entire career in the food industry in leadership positions at PepsiCo and Nestle SA.”
Smyrnios began his career with the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo, where he spent eight years in progressive roles in sales and marketing. In 1993, he joined Nestle Waters North America, where he had similarly progressive roles of responsibility and eventually was executive vice president and general manager of the Nestle Waters Home & Office Division and the Retail Division. He spent the past year as president of the Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream Div. So he has a background in consumer goods in both retail and direct delivery, which should be beneficial in his new role at Schwan.
Flack had been with Schwan 26 years, the past five as top executive and a director. In the announcement of his departure, Schuman said, "Everyone who is associated with the company believes in its unlimited potential for growth in the markets it competes in. I am confident that the new [CEO] will share the company’s vision for the future and continue to strengthen the business as it moves forward."
Schwan is ranked number 57 on the 2013 Food Processing Top 100 Food and Beverage Companies list. The company is a privately held business that manufactures and delivers frozen foods through home delivery, retail-grocery and foodservice channels. We estimate its total sales at $3.6 billion, but only half of that self-manufactured. Brands include Red Baron, Tony’s and Freschetta pizzas, Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards desserts.