Pinnacle announces CEO  departure

Pinnacle announces CEO departure

Pinnacle Foods CEO Bob Gamgort plans to leave the Udi's and Gardein owner at the end of April to take over as chief executive at Keurig Green Mountain.

Gamgort has served as chief executive at the Birds Eye frozen food maker since 2009. He will continue to lead the US group and sit on the group's board until the time of his departure. 

The Pinnacle board of directors is evaluating both internal and external candidates to succeed Gamgort. The process is expected to conclude in time for a "seamless transition", the company said. 

Chairman Roger Deromedi described Gamgort as an "outstanding CEO" responsible for leading Pinnacle from private to public ownership. In recent years, Gamgort has spearheaded a drive to adjust Pinnacle's branded portfolio and shift it towards higher growth areas of the North American food sector. These efforts include the recent acquisition of Udi's owner Boulder Brands, as well as earlier deals like the move to acquire meat-free business Gardein Protein International and former Unilever salad dressing business Wish-Bone

While Deromedi recognised Gamgort's achievements at Pinnacle, he was quick to stress the company remains well-positioned to deliver a strong performance in the coming year. "The clarity of Pinnacle's strategy, combined with the strength of both its leadership team and board of directors, gives me confidence in our ability to deliver attractive shareholder returns, including our expectation for another strong year in 2016.  While we are disappointed that Bob will be leaving Pinnacle, we thank him for his years of leadership that have positioned the company for continued success and wish him well in his new role."