US: Turnaround veteran Rayburn to lead ailing baker Hostess
Turnaround veteran Greg Rayburn has been named president and CEO of US baker Hostess Brands, which moved into bankruptcy protection in January.
Rayburn, a former director at US retailer A&P, which looks set to emerge from Chapter 11, joined Hostess last month as chief restructuring officer. He replaces Brian Driscoll, who has resigned from the top job.
"Hostess has been in business for more than 80 years and has established a powerful and valuable brand. I look forward to working closely with the management team and all of Hostess’s key constituents so that we can emerge from Chapter 11 as a company with a strong future that leverages its many strengths," Rayburn said.
In January, Hostess Brands applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with more than US$1bn in debts to creditors and a further $21m owed to its employees.
It was the second time the manufacturer of brands like Twinkies and Wonderbread has done so in its history. It applied for Chapter 11 for the first time in 2004, finally emerging from bankruptcy in 2009.
Industry watchers said Hostess has failed to adapt to growing demand for healthier products, faced competition from own label and had to deal with increasing staff costs.
The Hostess board thanked Driscoll "for his efforts during a very difficult period" for the company but added: "We also want to express our thanks to Greg for stepping in as CEO. His experience and proven track record in leading companies through critical transitions is precisely what Hostess needs at this point, and he has the full support of the board, our lenders and investors."
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