- Pinnacle Foods announced Wednesday Mark A. Clouse will serve as the next CEO of the company, ahead of its first quarter earnings release scheduled for Thursday. Clouse has been the chief commercial officer at Mondelez. The position is effective May 23.
- The company's current CEO, Robert J. "Bob" Gamgort, is leaving for Keurig Green Mountain, effective May 2. Keurig announced the CEO change last month.
- Craig Steeneck, Pinnacle's CFO, will serve as interim CEO when Gamgort leaves at the end of the month through May 22.
Pinnacle Foods had to name a successor, though picking a permanent CEO quickly could mean one of two things: the company is confident in its choice, or it was desperate to fill a necessary slot.
Given Clouse's background, it's likely the former. His experience ranges from serving as chief growth officer, in addition to brand work with Oreo, Nabisco, Cadbury, and Trident while at both Kraft Foods Inc. and later Mondelez. He now spearheads commercial execution for all the company's regions. He also served in the U.S. Army as a pilot and finished as a captain.
What's critical now for Pinnacle is the execution of its natural and organic pushes, which Gamgort oversaw. Clouse's CPG experience is obviously relevant, but as the needs of the consumer change, what worked for Mondelez's portfolio might not easily translate to Pinnacle. Last year, Pinnacle saw increased revenue for 2015 at almost $2.7 billion, though earnings dipped to $212.5 million from $248.4 million.
Pinnacle also announced it's keeping its adjusted diluted earnings per share outlook for 2016 in the $2.08 to $2.13 range, though more details will follow on Thursday's earnings call.