Flowers Foods: Deese Becomes Non-Executive Chairman

Thomasville / GA. (ff) Flowers Foods Inc., the United States´s second-largest producer and marketer of fresh packaged bakery foods, announced that consistent with the company´s management succession plan established by the board of directors five years ago, George E. Deese, age 68, will retire as executive chairman of the board at the end of 2014. Deese will become non-executive chairman of the board and will continue to be involved in the strategic direction of the company.

Allen L. Shiver will continue to serve as president and CEO. Shiver has been with the company for 36 years and was elected president in 2010 and CEO in 2013 when Deese moved to the position of executive chairman.

Commenting on the announcement, Deese said, «In 2013, the board asked that I serve as executive chairman while the company completed the integration of several major acquisitions and growth opportunities, including Tasty Baking, Lepage Bakeries, and the Hostess bread assets. We also wanted to ensure an orderly transition to the next generation of leadership for our company. I am confident in the integration progress of the acquisitions as well as the operations initiatives Allen and his team are pursuing».

Deese said that Flowers Foods is well equipped to perform for its shareholders, customers, and team members in the years ahead. «Through many decades, we have invested in our bakeries, distribution networks, products, brands, and team to create competitive strengths», he said. «Our priorities will be to deliver sales and earnings growth and to retain our position as the most efficient baker in our industry. Allen and his team will capitalize on and improve the operating strategies that have allowed our company to deliver significant value creation for our shareholders over the long term».

Commenting on Deese´s more than 50-year career with Flowers, Shiver said, «George Deese is a natural leader with deep insight, outstanding judgment, and the highest level of integrity. He helped shape our strategies and led the team to deliver outstanding sales and earnings results. Flowers Foods and our shareholders benefited greatly from George´s leadership and we are pleased he will continue as chairman of the board of directors».

Deese joined Flowers´ sales department in 1964 and was successively promoted to higher levels of responsibility. He served for almost 20 years as president and chief operating officer of Flowers Bakeries, the company´s core business. Under his leadership, Flowers Foods grew from a strong regional baker to the second largest baking company in the United States.

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