Cal-Maine Foods said its board has named Sherman Miller president and CEO, effective immediately.
A veteran of Cal-Maine, Miller joined the egg producer and distributor in 1996. He has served in various management positions during his 26-year tenure, most recently as president and chief operations officer. He will remain interim chief operations officer until a successor is named.
Miller replaces Dolph Baker in the top post. Cal-Maine said Baker, who will retain his role as chairman, will serve as an executive officer where he will “remain actively involved in managing the company.” He will focus on strategy, capital allocation, advising the senior management team and leading the board, Cal-Maine said in a statement.
The company said the CEO transition is consistent with the board’s succession planning process.
In a statement, Baker said Miller “is extremely well qualified for this leadership position, having the right complement of operational experience and strategic vision.” He added that Miller has been a “proven leader in managing our operations through the various market cycles that are characteristic of our industry.”
The CEO transition comes as egg production has been affected by inflation and bird flu, which has curtailed output.
The American Farm Bureau Federation said recently that while table egg prices have come down after hitting a record high in late July, they remain elevated. The farm group noted the combined regional average price for a dozen grade A large eggs delivered to warehouse was $2.34 on Sept. 17, which was 27% higher than the same time in 2021 and 44% above the five-year average of $1.29.
The higher prices have been a boon for Cal-Maine’s bottom line. Last week, the Mississippi-based company posted record sales of $658 million for its fiscal 2023 first quarter, a 103% increase compared with the same period last year, as it benefited from higher average selling prices and strong sales for specialty eggs. With Miller’s nearly three decades of experience at Cal-Maine and deep insight into the egg industry, as well as Baker’s continued involvement, the CEO transition should be a seamless one for the company.
The change in the C-suite comes as another egg company announced Monday it also is changing its leadership. Pete & Gerry’s Organics named Tom Flocco as its new CEO. Flocco previously served as president and COO of snack maker Utz Brands.