Former Saputo executive Kevin Yost is to join US group WhiteWave Foods to head Earthbound Farm, the organic produce business it acquired last week.

Yost, who left his job as president and COO of Saputo's US dairy foods unit last month, will become president of Earthbound Farm, WhiteWave announced yesterday (6 January).

Previous Earthbound Farm CEO Charlie Sweat will "move into an advisory role to ensure a smooth transition", WhiteWave said.

Yost has "deep experience leading companies through change", WhiteWave CEO and chairman Gregg Engles said.

WhiteWave closed its US$600m acquisition of Earthbound Farm, announced last month, on 2 January.

The company paid tribute to Sweat, noting Earthbound Farm's organic sales grew from $10m to over $500m under his leadership.

Engles said: "Charlie is a passionate leader who helped grow Earthbound Farm into a major player and influencer in the organic food industry and therefore a very attractive business to WhiteWave." 

Show the press release

The WhiteWave Foods Company Names Kevin Yost President of Newly Acquired Earthbound Farm Business

New Leader Brings Strong CPG and Food Industry Experience to Organic Brand

January 06, 2014 03:18 PM Eastern Standard Time

DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The WhiteWave Foods Company (NYSE:WWAV) (“WhiteWave”) today announced that Kevin C. Yost will join WhiteWave’s newly acquired Earthbound Farm business as President, effective immediately. Charlie Sweat, previously CEO of Earthbound Farm, will move into an advisory role to ensure a smooth transition. The rest of the Earthbound Farm management team will continue to serve in their current roles.

“Charlie is a passionate leader who helped grow Earthbound Farm into a major player and influencer in the organic food industry and therefore a very attractive business to WhiteWave”

With the January 2 completion of the Earthbound Farm acquisition, WhiteWave Foods will offer products across the most popular gateways for consumers to enter into the organic category – produce with Earthbound Farm and dairy with its established Horizon Organic brand.

As president of a leading organic brand, Yost will have full operational responsibility for the Earthbound Farm business. He will report to Gregg Engles, CEO and Chairman at The WhiteWave Foods Company, and serve on the company’s Executive Leadership Team.

Yost most recently worked with Saputo, Inc., a global CPG company in branded and private label foods and beverages. He brings more than 22 years of CPG and food industry experience driving shareholder value at leading, multi-billion dollar companies, including Dean Foods’ Morningstar division, ConAgra Foods and Swift and Company.

Throughout his career, Yost has had a strong track record growing categories and building sales, along with deep experience managing multiple production sites and leading global sales, marketing and supply chain organizations.

“We are excited to have Kevin grow and lead the Earthbound Farm business and the company’s talent,” said Engles. “His deep experience leading companies through change, improving operations, leading product development, driving above-market revenue and earnings growth, and building winning cultures makes him the perfect leader for Earthbound Farm. We look forward to his contributions to build on the company’s success as we work together to change the way the world eats for the better.”

Sweat is leaving the role of Earthbound Farm CEO after 15½ successful years at Earthbound Farm to pursue a variety of professional and personal ventures, including joining the board of directors of the non-profit Global Green USA. Under his leadership, Earthbound Farm’s U.S. organic salad market share rose to 50% while the company’s organic sales grew from $10 million to more than $500 million.

“Charlie is a passionate leader who helped grow Earthbound Farm into a major player and influencer in the organic food industry and therefore a very attractive business to WhiteWave,” said Engles. “We look forward to benefiting from Charlie’s expertise during the transition in an advisory role, appreciate all that he has done to make the company a success, and wish him the same success as he takes on these new ventures.”

Original source: WhiteWave Foods