US convenience foods producer Pinnacle Foods has appointed Mars executive Bob Gamgort as its CEO.

Gamgort replaces Jeffrey Ansell, who is leaving Pinnacle to pursue other interests, the company, owned by private equity firm Blackstone, said today (14 July).

In addition, Roger Deromedi, who currently serves as executive chairman of the board of directors, will become non-executive chairman.

“The board is delighted that Bob has joined the company to further accelerate its growth and capture the full potential of its iconic brands. Bob is one of the most talented and respected executives in the food industry, with a demonstrated ability to lead and innovate,” said Deromedi.

From 2002 through 2009, Gamgort served as North American president for Mars, where he managed the company’s US$8bn revenue portfolio of confectionery, main meal, pet food and retail businesses.

He initially joined the company as vice president of marketing for M&M / Mars and then as general manager of its chocolate unit.