Flowers Foods: Announces Board Leadership Transitions

Thomasville / GA. (ff) The board of directors of Flowers Foods Inc. announced that A. Ryals McMullian has been elected as the next chairman of the board, effective immediately following the 2023 annual meeting of shareholders. George E. Deese, current chairman of the board, will retire from the chairman role at that time. Deese will continue to serve as a director following the annual meeting of shareholders.

«We are pleased to announce the election of Ryals as chairman of the board of Flowers Foods,» commented Benjamin H. Griswold, IV, presiding director of Flowers’ board. «His insights and keen business acuity have added tremendous value to the board since he joined in 2019. We look forward to his leadership as Flowers continues to strengthen its competitive position, deliver results, and enhance shareholder value during its transformation to a national branded food company.

«On behalf of the entire board, we are extremely grateful for George’s leadership and the strategic direction he has provided for the last 17 years as chairman of the board. Flowers has benefitted greatly from his extensive experience, outstanding judgment, and highest level of integrity – which have helped guide the company to deliver outstanding sales and earnings results.»

Additionally, Benjamin H. Griswold, IV has announced that he will retire from the company’s board of directors following the expiration of his current term. Griswold, partner and chairman of Brown Advisory and retired Senior Chairman of Deutsche Bank Securities, has served as a director of Flowers Foods since 2005 and currently serves as presiding director, chair of the nominating/corporate governance committee and member of the compensation and human capital committee.

The board has elected Thomas C. Chubb, III to serve as presiding director and chair of the nominating / corporate governance committee, effective immediately following the annual meeting of shareholders.

«Flowers has been fortunate to have Ben Griswold as a board member for the past 18 years,» said George E. Deese, Flowers Foods’ chairman of the board. «We are deeply appreciative of his many contributions and thank him for his valuable financial acumen and unwavering commitment to strong corporate governance, which have benefited our company and the board of directors. We are pleased to have Ben’s insights and expertise through the remainder of his term as a director and wish him all the best following his retirement from the board.

«The board has been actively engaged in succession planning for many years, and the changes announced today are part of the board’s long-term board refreshment and leadership transition plan. The board has the utmost confidence in Ryals and Tom, both of whom were unanimously elected to their new positions.»

«I am honored to be elected as the upcoming chairman and sincerely thank the entire board for their trust and confidence,» said Ryals McMullian, president and CEO of Flowers Foods. «I would also like to personally thank George for his steadfast guidance and valuable insights. I look forward to continuing to work closely with him and the entire board as chairman.»

Ryals McMullian has served as a member of Flowers Foods’ board since August 2019 and was elected president and CEO of Flowers in May 2019. Prior to that election, he served in a number of senior leadership roles for the company, including chief operating officer, chief strategy officer, deputy general counsel, and vice president of mergers and acquisitions. He joined Flowers Foods in 2003.

Tom Chubb, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Oxford Industries, Inc., has served as a member of the Flowers Foods’ board since 2020.