Post Holdings CEO Robert Vitale told analysts this morning it was a cancer diagnosis that made him take an “unexpected” medical leave on Nov. 6. The surgery is over and he said he feels great, but was told the radiation and chemotherapy treatment he’s starting will “wipe out my energy levels for a period of time.”
Hence, Jeff Zadoks, executive vice president and COO, continues as acting CEO.
Vitale, 57, briefly joined the company’s fourth-quarter and full fiscal year conference call with analysts Nov. 17. “Recently, the doctors discovered and removed a malignant tumor,” he said, sounding strong. He joined the company as CFO in 2011 and became CEO in 2014.
Post’s finances were just OK for its fiscal 2023, which ended Sept. 30. Full year sales were $6.991 billion, an increase of $1.140 billion over FY22, but included $680 million in sales from the acquisition of pet foods from J.M. Smucker Co. Net earnings from continuing operations were $301 million, less than half the $735 million earned in the prior year.