- ConAgra Foods' CMO Joan Chow is leaving the company, but ConAgra has not yet announced a replacement.
- The move comes as part of strategic changes being made by ConAgra's new CEO Sean Connolly, who took his post in March, as he builds his executive team. Elsewhere, the company named Jon Harris its chief communications officer.
- Chow had been with the company since 2007. Connolly was the former CEO of Hillshire Brands before it was acquired by Tyson Foods last year.
Executive changes are just one part of Connolly's overarching strategy to strengthen ConAgra. It also means giving certain brands more marketing dollars while the company is divesting its private-label brands operations, which Connolly called a "suboptimal use of our resources." Connolly also said in his statement that the company would be taking "a more aggressive approach to driving margin improvement through SG&A reductions, supply chain efficiencies and other projects."
These goals align with the expectations of Jana Partners LLC, which owns 7.2% of ConAgra's shares and suggested that divesting private brands and cutting costs become a focus for the company.
In the quarter before announcing the planned divestiture of its private brands, ConAgra posted a $952.7 million net income loss, which was attributed in part to notably lower profits from various private brands.