St. Louis, Missouri-based Aurora Foods has announced that William R. McManaman will become executive VP and CFO on 1 April 2002.

McManaman will report to James T. Smith, chairman and CEO. Smith commented: "We are very pleased to be able to attract someone with Bill's extensive qualifications and experience not only in finance but also in the food industry and consumer brands.

"Bill will be a great fit with the Company and has all the skills and experience needed to help drive Aurora to its next plateau as the Company's results continue to improve."

McManaman succeeds Christopher T. Sortwell, who joined Aurora two years ago to help put the Company on sound financial footing following the earnings restatements of April 2000. ``This appointment is a natural transition for Aurora during its turnaround,'' Mr. Smith said. ``Chris has completed what he joined Aurora to do and will be moving on to pursue other opportunities more in line with his interests. We wish him great success and thank him sincerely for his contributions to Aurora.''

Aurora said that there will be an interim transition period until McManaman officially becomes CFO.

McManaman brings more than 30 years of financial and operational experience to his new position. He comes to Aurora Foods from Dean Foods, where he was the Chief Financial Officer and a member of the Senior Management Committee. During his five years at Dean Foods, Mr. McManaman led the implementation of a new information and customer-service data system, rebuilt the financial organization and restructured the Company's debt.
Additionally, he actively participated in more than 20 acquisitions representing more than US$1.5bn in sales.