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Flowers Foods Announces New Senior Leadership Appointments, Board Members

Aug. 21, 2023
Current COO Heeth Varnedoe will add president role, while the company adds a chief growth officer and two new independent members to the board of directors.

Flowers Foods Inc. announced two transitions to the senior leadership team, effective September 1, as well as the election of two new members of the board of directors. Heeth Varnedoe, current chief operating officer of the company, will become president and COO; meanwhile, current board member Terry S. Thomas, will resign from the board and join the company as chief growth officer.

Varnedoe has previously served as Flowers Foods’ chief transformation officer, senior vice president of DSD Regions/Sales and president of the Phoenix bakery. Thomas worked most recently as global chief customer officer at Unilever, and previously held executive and management positions at PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Clorox and Proctor & Gamble. In his new role, he will report to Ryals McMullian, chairman, CEO and current president, and will be responsible for leading and managing growth initiatives, product development and innovation, marketing and customer partnerships, according to a release from Flowers Foods.

In addition, the Flowers Foods board of directors elected two new independent directors, effective October 1. Joining the board are Brigitte King, global chief digital officer at Colgate-Palmolive Co., and Joanne Smith, executive vice president and chief people officer at Delta Air Lines.

King oversees digital commerce, digital marketing and omnichannel brand strategies for Colgate-Palmolive. Smith is responsible for talent management and development, recruitment, HR service delivery, diversity and inclusion, and HR policies and programs for Delta. Both new board members will serve on the audit committee and finance committee of the board.

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.

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