Flowers Foods announces new appointments

Flowers Foods recently announced two new transitions to the senior leadership of the company and the election of two new members to the board of directors, effective 1 September 2023.

Heeth Varnedoe, Chief Operating Officer at Flowers will begin serving as President and Chief Operating Officer of the company. Varnedoe has held a number of key management roles at Flowers including Chief Transformation Officer, Senior Vice President of DSD Regions/Sales and President of the Phoenix bakery.

Terry S. Thomas, currently serving as a member of the board of directors of Flowers Foods will resign as a member of the board and join as Chief Growth Officer, reporting to Ryals McMullian, Chairman, CEO and President. As a new position at Flowers, the Chief Growth Officer is responsible for leading and managing growth initiatives, product development and innovation, marketing and consumer partnerships.

Thomas has extensive experience working globally in the consumer goods industry, most recently as Global Chief Customer Officer at Unilever. Previously, he has held executive and management positions at PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, Clorox and Procter & Gamble.

“Congratulations to Heeth on his well-deserved promotion,” commented Ryals McMullian, President and CEO, Flowers Foods. “Over the last few years, Heeth has overseen a number of transformative initiatives at Flowers and has proven himself to be an extremely capable senior executive. Going forward, Heeth will be taking on a number of additional responsibilities and I am supremely confident that he will continue to make significant contributions to our success.

“I’m looking forward to working directly with Terry to uncover new revenue streams for the company, one of the key responsibilities of his role. Terry’s global experience working at a senior level for some of the most respected CPG companies in the world will be invaluable to us as we continue to transform Flowers into a consumer and brand-centric company.”

In addition to these hires, the company has elected two new directors to its board, effective 1 October 2023.

Brigitte King, serves as Global Chief Digital Officer at Colgate-Palmolive Company, where she oversees digital commerce, digital marketing and omnichannel brand strategies. She has extensive digital and consumer marketing experience, previously having held senior roles at PVH Corp and L’Oréal, serving as Chief Consumer Officer.

Joanne Smith is Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer at Delta Air Lines, where she oversees talent management and development, recruitment, HR service delivery, diversity and inclusion and HR policies and programs. While at Delta, she has also held product development and marketing roles.

“On behalf of the entire board of directors, I’d like to welcome Brigitte and Joanne as the newest Flowers board members,” concluded McMullian. “The expertise and perspective they bring will add significant support for two of our four strategic priorities: focusing on our brands and developing our team. Their guidance will be a great benefit to the board – and the more than 9t000 Flowers employees – as we work to become a more agile and innovative company.”

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Media contact

Caitlin Gittins
Editor, International Bakery
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 920

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