AdvancePierre Foods (NYSE: APFH) (“AdvancePierre”), a leading national producer and distributor of sandwiches, sandwich components and other entrées and snacks, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved a succession and transition plan for its Chief Executive Officer position. As a part of the plan, the Board announced that effective November 14, 2016, Christopher D. Sliva will be appointed President and also will join the AdvancePierre Board of Directors. On March 31, 2017, current AdvancePierre Chief Executive Officer John Simons will retire and will be succeeded by Sliva. Simons will remain a member of AdvancePierre’s Board following the transition.
Additionally, AdvancePierre today announced the promotions of George Chappelle and Jim Clough. Chappelle, previously Senior Vice President, Supply Chain & Corporate Development, has been appointed Chief Operating Officer. Chappelle will be responsible for overseeing the company’s manufacturing operations and supply chain as well as all business development activities including acquisitions, divestitures and other strategic projects. Currently President of the Foodservice business unit, Clough will expand his role and become the company’s first Chief Commercial Officer. Clough will continue to lead the Foodservice business unit as President and will have additional leadership responsibilities related to the company’s customer-centric efforts. Both of these promotions reflect the Company’s ongoing commitment to these critical business functions and their contributions to AdvancePierre.
Regarding Simons’ transition, Dean Hollis, Chairman of the Board, said: “John has been instrumental in transforming AdvancePierre’s culture into one focused on collaboration and excellence and in building a world-class management team. Under John’s leadership, AdvancePierre has implemented the APF way, our sustainable improvement program which transformed our business performance and enhanced our margin profile. We look forward to continuing to benefit from John’s experience and guidance as Chief Executive Officer throughout the transition period.”
Simons commented: “AdvancePierre is on a solid and steady path for continued success. I’m extremely proud of our team’s many accomplishments over the past several years, perhaps most notably around our successful NYSE debut and the work that followed to establish AdvancePierre on strong footing as a public company. For all of these reasons, I came to the decision that now is the right time to initiate this change, and the Board agreed that a smooth transition beginning with Chris’ appointment as President was the ideal next step. I am looking forward to working alongside Chris over the coming months, and I am confident that the future is bright for AdvancePierre.”
As President, Sliva will work closely alongside Simons on the oversight and management of the company’s operating activities and to ensure a seamless transition of responsibilities. Sliva is a recognized leader and operator with over a decade’s experience as a public food company executive. Before joining AdvancePierre, Sliva was President and Chief Operating Officer at TreeHouse Foods, Inc. (NYSE: THS), a leading manufacturer of food and beverage products with more than 50 manufacturing facilities across the United States, Canada and Italy. Sliva joined TreeHouse in July 2012 as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of its Bay Valley Foods operating unit and also served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of TreeHouse and President of Bay Valley during his time at the company. Before that, Sliva spent six years as an executive at Dean Foods (NYSE: DF), including as Chief Commercial Officer of Dean’s subsidiary Fresh Dairy Direct-Morningstar, Chief Customer Officer for Dean’s White Wave Foods division and President and Chief Operating Officer for the Morningstar division. Previously, Sliva held various leadership roles and sales and marketing positions with Eastman Kodak Company, Fort James Corporation and Procter & Gamble Distributing Company.
Hollis continued: “I am very pleased to welcome Chris to AdvancePierre. Having spent a significant part of his career working in a customer-focused environment, Chris is well-equipped to reinforce and build upon AdvancePierre’s customer-centric approach. Chris also shares our passion for food and his highly relevant experience as a senior executive with publicly-traded food and beverage companies strongly positions him to lead AdvancePierre through its next phase of growth.”
Sliva said: “I have watched AdvancePierre’s amazing progress over the past several years and I admire the spirit of collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement deeply-rooted in every aspect of the business. I am excited to work with John and the rest of the talented team during this transition period as we strive to deliver even greater value for customers and sustained profitable growth and value for shareholders.”