Snyder's-Lance Inc., Charlotte, N.C., announced on June 28 its appointment of Brian Driscoll as president and CEO. Driscoll, the former president and CEO of Diamond Foods, joined Snyder's-Lance's board of directors in February, 2016, in connection with the cracker and snack maker's purchase of Diamond Foods. He has served as Snyder's-Lance's CEO on an interim basis since Carl Lee, Jr. the previous CEO, departed in April. Now, Driscoll officially takes the title permanently.
"We have been impressed with the significant progress made by Brian and the management team during the last few months to create a comprehensive performance improvement plan, focused on delivering greater value for our shareholders," said Snyder's-Lance's chairman Jim Johnston. "Brian's impressive experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, combined with his knowledge of the Diamond Foods brands and early strides in the role, make him uniquely qualified to lead the company."
Driscoll has more than 35 years of experience in the food industry, most recently as president/CEO of Diamond Foods from 2012 until 2016. From 2010 to 2012, Driscoll was CEO of Hostess Brands, and from 2002 to 2010, held senior management positions at Kraft Foods, Inc., including as president of sales, customer service and logistics, Kraft North America, from 2007 to 2010. He joined Kraft Foods via Kraft's acquisition of Nabisco, where he worked from 1995 to 2002.
Known for Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels and Lance peanut butter sandwich crackers, the company didn't indicate if the early retirement of Lee was tied to its lagging first-quarter financial indicators, but the company did say under Driscoll’s leadership, it's progressing heartily to improving earnings.
"The chance to serve as chief executive of Snyder's-Lance at such an important time in its development is an incredible opportunity," Driscoll says. "The company's products and brands are invaluable assets, and I look forward to implementing our strategic plan focused on improving the company's performance."