Flowers Foods, producer of Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, Tastykake, and other bakery foods, today announced that effective December 31, 2022, Bradley K. Alexander, chief operating officer, will retire from the company after 41 years of service. Consistent with the company’s management succession plan, on January 1, 2023, Heeth Varnedoe, the company’s current chief transformation officer, will succeed Alexander as chief operating officer.
“I wish to express my deep appreciation to Brad for his service to our company,” said A. Ryals McMullian, president and chief operating officer. “His many contributions to the sales, operations, and marketing functions of Flowers have been instrumental to many of our company’s successes and we have benefitted greatly from his extensive knowledge of the industry and steadfast leadership. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”
McMullian continued, “In several key roles at Flowers, Heeth has consistently demonstrated his superior business acumen and in-depth understanding of our company’s operations. Given his proven leadership skills, I have every confidence he will do an outstanding job as we continue our digital transformation efforts while remaining focused on serving the needs of our consumers.”
Varnedoe joined Flowers Foods in 1990, holding a number of management positions, including president of the company’s bakery in Jacksonville, Florida. He left Flowers in 2000 to pursue other business interests and rejoined in 2012 as director of DSD cake sales, then served as vice president of national accounts from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, he was promoted to president of the company’s Phoenix, Arizona bakery and served as senior vice president of DSD Regions/Sales from 2017 to 2020, when he was named to his current role. Varnedoe holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and history from Presbyterian College.