Flowers Foods: About Leadership Transitions And Board Elections

Thomasville / GA. (ff) Flowers Foods Inc., producer of Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, Tastykake, and other bakery foods, announced two transitions to the senior leadership and the election of two new members to the board. The following changes are effective September 01, 2023:

  • Heeth Varnedoe, chief operating officer (COO) at Flowers, will begin serving as president and COO of the company. Varnedoe has held a number of key management roles at Flowers, including chief transformation officer, SVP of DSD Regions/Sales, and president of the Phoenix bakery.
  • Terry S. Thomas, currently a member of the board of directors of Flowers Foods, will resign as a member of the board and join the company as chief growth officer, reporting to Ryals McMullian, chairman, chief executive officer, and president. A new position at Flowers, the chief growth officer is responsible for leading and managing growth initiatives, product development and innovation, marketing, and customer 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. Thomas holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Northwestern University and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

«Congratulations to Heeth on his well-deserved promotion,» said McMullian. «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,» McMullian continued. «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.»

The board of directors has elected two new independent directors, effective October 01, 2023:

  • Brigitte King is the global chief digital officer at Colgate-Palmolive Company, where she oversees digital commerce, digital marketing and omnichannel brand strategies. King has extensive digital and consumer marketing experience, and held senior roles at PVH Corp. and at L’Oréal, serving as their Chief Consumer Officer, prior to joining Colgate. King holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Clark University. She will serve on the audit committee and finance committee of the board.
  • 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. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California Polytechnic State University. She will serve on the audit committee and finance committee.

«On behalf of the entire board of directors, I’d like to welcome Brigitte King and Joanne Smith as the newest Flowers board members,» said Ryals 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 9,000 Flowers employees – as we work to become a more agile and innovative company.»