US-based pet-food business Carnivore Meat has named sector veteran Heather Govea as its new CEO.

Carnivore Meat, owned by private-equity firm Arbor Investments, said Govea has “decades of pet food experience”.

She joins Carnivore Meat after almost eight years at first CJ Foods and then Alphia. The merger of CJ Foods and American Nutrition formed Alphia in 2020.

Govea’s career also includes 14 years at Natural Balance Foods, another US pet-food group, from 2001 to 2015.

“Joining Carnivore as CEO in this stage of the company’s trajectory is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Govea said.

Arbor invested in Carnivore Meat, a producer of freeze-dried and frozen pet food, snacks and treats, in 2021.

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Founded in 2012 by CEO Lanny Viegut, Carnivore’s branded products include Vital Essentials, Vital Cat, Ve Raw Bar and Nature’s Advantage sold into US and Canadian retailers, and 14 other international markets.

The business, headquartered in Green Bay in Wisconsin, also supplies private label and is engaged in contract manufacturing.

According to Viegut’s LinkedIn page, his tenure as CEO ended in December last year.

Chris Tuffin, a partner at Arbor, said: “We knew we needed a CEO with deep experience and a passion for the pet industry, together with the ambition and playbook to help us continue growing this business.”

“Heather brings the perfect skillset, having demonstrated success scaling several pet brands and organisations in her career along with the category insights and industry relationships to build strategic partnerships with retailers.”