ConAgra Foods, one of the leading food companies in the US, has announced the appointment of Chris Kircher as VP, communications.

Kircher, based at ConAgra Foods corporate headquarters in Omaha, Neb., is responsible for the company's communications functions, including media relations and communications with the company's key constituencies.

Before joining ConAgra Foods, Kircher worked for Hill and Knowlton from 1989 to 1996 and then again from 2000 to the present. Most recently, Kircher was Hill and Knowlton's senior MD, corporate practice, responsible for leading and managing one of the agency's major account teams. He joined Hill and Knowlton in 1989 as senior account executive and was promoted to account supervisor; then to VP, corporate services group; and then MD and team leader.

Kircher worked at Philip Morris from 1996 to 2000 as manager, financial communications, responsible for implementation and management of the company's ongoing financial and corporate communications efforts. From 1987-89, he was account supervisor at The Hooper Group, in Dayton, and he began his public relations career in 1984 at the Icon Group, also in Dayton, as an account executive.

Bruce Rohde, ConAgra Foods chairman and CEO, said: "The communications function and communicating with key audiences is a critical component of [ConAgra's progress]. Chris has the public relations and communication experience, along with the expertise to help the company augment that effort."