Add another CEO departure to the growing list of those leaving major food companies. Hostess Brands, Kansas City, Mo., maker of Twinkies and Ding Dongs, announced Oct. 12 that Bill Toler plans to retire as president and CEO, effective March 1, 2018, or sooner if a replacement is appointed. Toler will remain on the company’s board of directors.
"On behalf of the board and management team, I would like to thank Bill for his significant contributions to Hostess," commented Dean Metropoulos, executive chairman of the Hostess board. "Under Bill’s leadership, the company successfully re-established the iconic Hostess brand as a leader within the sweet baked goods category, and transitioned from a private to public company. Bill has led Hostess through a considerable growth phase and has generated significant stockholder value. It has been a pleasure working with him to establish a strong culture as a foundation for future success."
Toler helped reposition the well-known Hostess baked goods brands after the company emerged from liquidation in 2013 through a private-equity purchase and a return to the stock market last fall. He has overseen increases in Hostess sales and profits, expanded its distribution network and pioneered new innovations such as Twinkie-flavored ice cream.
The board of directors has created a subcommittee to identify and evaluate internal and external candidates with the assistance of an executive search firm to fill the president and CEO position, Metropoulos noted. During the transition period, the baked goods company stated Metropoulos will expand his duties as executive chairman as necessary to ensure continuity of leadership.
Hostess plans to report earnings for the third quarter ended September 30, 2017, on November 8, 2017.
Within the last year, Hershey, General Mills, Tyson Foods, Coca-Cola, Kellogg and Mondelez have been among the companies to appoint new leaders as consumers move to more organic, healthier and free-from products.