Clay Mathile, Former Iams Owner and CEO, Has Passed Away at Age 82

Sept. 1, 2023
Mathile built Iams pet food business from having sales of $13 million in 1982 to being acquired for $2.3 billion by Procter & Gamble in 1999.

Clay Mathile, who purchased pet food company Iams in the early 1980s and catapulted it on a trajectory of immense growth, died last weekend at the age of 82, according to news reports.

Mathile joined Iams as one of its first employees in 1970 after working as an accountant at the Campbell Soup Co. Mathile and his wife became the sole owners of the company, and he became CEO, in 1982 when founder Paul F. Iams retired. That year, Iams recorded just $13 million in sales. Over the next 17 years, Iams exploded in size, and the firm was acquired by Procter & Gamble in 1999 from Mathile for $2.3 billion, with approximately $800 million in sales at the time. After selling Iams to P&G, Mathile disbursed to his employees $100 million of his profit from the sale.

In 2014, Iams was sold by P&G to Mars Petcare along with other pet food brands, for $2.9 billion — and Iams remains a part of the Mars Petcare portfolio today.

Outside the pet food business, Mathile then dedicated himself to philanthropy, spending $130 million in 2008 to found Aileron, a Dayton, Ohio-based management-training school for small business owners. He and his wife also founded The Mathile Family Foundation and donated more than $500 million to projects, foundations and organizations.

About the Author

Andy Hanacek | Senior Editor

Andy Hanacek has covered meat, poultry, bakery and snack foods as a B2B editor for nearly 20 years, and has toured hundreds of processing plants and food companies, sharing stories of innovation and technological advancement throughout the food supply chain. In 2018, he won a Folio:Eddie Award for his unique "From the Editor's Desk" video blogs, and he has brought home additional awards from Folio and ASBPE over the years. In addition, Hanacek led the Meat Industry Hall of Fame for several years and was vice president of communications for We R Food Safety, a food safety software and consulting company.

Sponsored Recommendations

Troubleshoot: Grittiness in gluten free cookies

Learn how to adjust gluten free cookie recipes for a softer texture.

Clabber Girl: Rising Success

Uncover how Clabber Girl Corporation achieved a remarkable 7% growth and improved manufacturing efficiency by seamlessly integrating Vicinity's batch manufacturing solution with...

Intelligent Blends: Taking Technology to the Next Level

Find out how our friends at Intelligent Blends use VicinityFood and Microsoft Dynamics GP to produce the best coffee around.

Key ingredient: Mother Murphy's Laboratories

Flavorings manufacturer Mother Murphy’s Laboratories integrates front office with production facility — improving operations from initial order to final invoice.