On Feb. 19, 2019 Flowers Foods, the bakery foods producer which owns brands such as Nature’s Own, Wonder, Tastykake and Dave’s Killer Bread, announced the company’s COO Ryals McMullian was elected president and CEO, effective May 2019. The move follows current president and CEO Allen L. Shiver’s decision to retire and step down from the board.
Shiver will continue to serve in his current position and as a board member until the annual meeting in May and will serve as a non-executive special advisor to the company through the end of the year to ensure a seamless transition.
“Succession planning has long been an important priority for the board, and we are pleased to elect Ryals as Flowers Foods’ next president and CEO,” said Benjamin H. Griswold, IV, presiding director of Flowers’ board. “Ryals has been a driving force behind the effort to grow the company into new areas we believe can enhance shareholder value and strengthen our competitive position. He has done an outstanding job aligning the team behind our strategic goals and pushing our efforts forward. We are confident he is the right choice to take the helm at this exciting and important time in our company’s history,” Griswold said.
Shiver said, “During the past four decades, I have seen this company grow from a regional bakery to a national powerhouse, with leading brands and a strong foundation for future growth and value creation. Since 2017, our company has made great strides in establishing a strong team, and we are taking actions to improve efficiencies and enhance profitability. Ryals and I have worked closely together over the past few years, and I know I am leaving the company in very capable hands. It has truly been an honor and privilege to work with all the outstanding members of the Flowers team.”
McMullian said, “I firmly believe in Flowers’ vision and long-term strategic plan. We will leverage the power of our unique culture to foster an even greater sense of ownership, engagement, and accountability among all team members. We will continue to take the necessary steps to better position Flowers for future growth in a dynamic business environment by strengthening critical brand-building capabilities, moving into growing adjacent segments, and better leveraging our cost structure. I am energized by the exciting opportunities that lie ahead to grow shareholder value.”