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Monday, January 30, 2023

Hain Celestial Names Seasoned CPG Exec As New CEO

Diving Profile:

  • Effective January 1, Hain Celestial has named Wendy Davidson President and Chief Executive Officer, the company said in a press release.
  • Davidson, a Glanbia Performance Nutrition executive with leadership experience at Kellogg, McCormick & Co. and Tyson Foods, will succeed Mark Schiller. He will become a non-executive member of the company’s board and will serve as a “continuing resource” for Davidson. CEO handover sent Hein’s The stock fell sharply in midday trading, with shares down nearly 10%.
  • Davidson’s selection for the top job at the organic and natural foods maker comes as the company grapples with external challenges, including inflation, and internal questions about how to handle its non-core personal-care products business.

Dive Insights:

After years of change to stabilize Hayne, the food and beverage maker has a new chief executive who faces her own set of challenges.

Schiller took the helm in November 2018 as maker of Celestial Seasonings Tea and Sensible Portions Garden Veggie Straws in turmoil.

After more than five years of revenue growth of more than 20% annually, Just four years ago, Hain suddenly faced slowing sales and shrinking profits. To offset slowing sales in other businesses, big CPG makers including General Mills and Nestlé have jumped into the health and wellness channel for which Hayne is known.Hein also Facing pressure from activist investors Push for change.

Schiller Recalibrating sprawling food and personal care giantAt one point, he said, it was a “massive cash drain”.Ex-PepsiCo execs merge Hein’s sales force and reduced the number of distribution centers it operates. He also divested several businesses that were not part of his portfolio — including turkey butchers and fresh fruit sales.

While the company’s business is now on solid footing, Davidson will inherit many of the same problems faced by other big food and beverage giants: rising inflation, rising prices, global turmoil, disrupted supply chains and changing consumer eating habits.

Hayne describes Davidson as “an experienced consumer products executive with deep expertise in sales and marketing.” Davidson is no stranger to the CPG category, with her management experience at Kellogg, McCormick and Tyson bringing She was able to keep up the pace quickly in Hayne.

She also has a strong insight into healthier products after most recently serving as president of the Americas for Glanbia, maker of healthy foods, beverages and other products such as SlimFast.exist Glanbia, according to Hayne’s post, Davidson “Strong results in post-pandemic recovery” and played a role in consolidating acquired brands into a single operating model.

In addition to solving problems outside the company, she will also face internal decision-making. Hain, known for its crisps, tea and yoghurt, has long faced the question of whether it should sell its personal care portfolio, which includes cleansers, shampoos, sunscreen, lotions and baby care products. Personal care accounts for less than 10% of its sales.

Davidson could also consider selling the entire company. Its prominence in organic and natural foods is likely to attract interest from large CPGs looking to expand their presence there. But any deal could hinge on Hain selling its personal-care division; few companies make both food and products, including shampoo and sunscreen.

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