Hain Celestial has named packaged food veteran Wendy Davidson to replace Mark Schiller as president and CEO of the US group.

Davidson, who has served in a range of roles at US firms Kellogg, Mccormick & Co. and Tyson Foods and in North America for Ireland’s Glanbia, will take up those positions on 1 January. Schiller’s last day as Hain Celestial’s president and CEO is 31 December, when he will transition to a non-executive director at the snacks, baby food and alternative-protein producer.

Schiller, himself an industry veteran and tasked with simplifying the Hain Celestial business, became head of the New York-based company in November 2018.

“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Mark for his unwavering commitment and leadership during his four-year tenure as CEO,” board chair Dawn Zier said in a statement today (28 November). “Mark has played an instrumental role in simplifying the company and instilling greater operational discipline throughout the organisation, and we are foundationally stronger as a result.”

Davidson was most recently president for the Americas at Glanbia Performance Nutrition and was the former president for US speciality channels at Kellogg.

“We are excited to welcome Wendy as our new CEO. Her global CPG experience and successful track record in driving growth, reducing complexity, and developing talent are key to accelerating the transformative work that the leadership team has undertaken,” Zier said.

Davidson takes the reigns in an environment of heightened inflation and the lingering supply-chain effects of Covid, factors hitting Hain Celestial and other food industry peers.

Presenting full-year financial results in August, Schiller predicted an acceleration in input-cost pressures and increased price elasticity. Further price rises were initiated in the first three months of the new fiscal year as Hain Celestial reported a 3% drop in sales to US$439.4m.

Adjusted EBITDA also fell, declining 18.4% to $38.6m in the first quarter, while operating income was down 38% at $15.8m. Net income slid 64% to $6.9m.

“It has been a privilege and an honour to lead this team,” Schiller said today. “Our performance during the transformation has driven significant value creation, benefitting shareholders while also laying the foundation for long-term growth.”