- Hain Celestial has restructured its executive team for the second time in three months, naming Gary Tickle as the new CEO of its North America business, according to Food Business News.
- Tickle, who moves into the position after working as the company's chief operating officer since September 2016, previously spent 20 years at Nestle in several positions, including president and CEO of Nestle Infant Nutrition North America.
- John Carroll, the previous president and CEO of Hain Celestial North America, will now be the company's executive vice president of global brands. Beena Goldberg, formerly the CEO of Hain Celestial Canada, will now lead the company's Cultivate Ventures incubator and investment arm.
Hain Celestial's corporate reorganization comes as the company faces a Security and Exchanges Commission investigation into financial irregularities. The restructuring could signal changes in the way the company does business — or it could be as useful as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
The fact that the new appointments are all existing company executives who are being given new roles could lessen investor confidence in their ability to make real change. However, the restructuring could also put executives into areas where their strengths are better utilized. At Nestle, Tickle oversaw one of the country's largest baby food businesses led by the company's Gerber brand. Carroll, who has been serving in a CEO capacity at Hain Celestial since 2008, will be in a position to expand global brands and oversee Project Terra, the company's strategic review of cost savings, business integration and divestitures. Meanwhile, moving Goldberg to lead Cultivate Ventures shows the importance the company is placing on its new incubator.
The natural food manufacturer, once seen as a potential acquisition darling, has not released any financial statements since spring 2016. Just this week, Hain Celestial received its second notice in six months from Nasdaq that its stock could be delisted since it did not deliver expected financial reports. The company recently said it is working "toward a conclusion in its financial reporting process."
After a November announcement that Hain Celestial had resolved its accounting errors, its stock quickly soared. Analyst Chris Wallendal wrote on Seeking Alpha that a close look at what's known about Hain Celestial shows no apparent cash flow problems at the company. But that was before disclosure of an SEC investigation in February, which led the company's stock to fall nearly 10%.
If nothing further is uncovered and the financial issues are cleared up as the company has promised, Hain Celestial could re-emerge as an acquisition target. Some analysts have even suggested that the company's struggles make it all the more desirable as a takeover target.