Flowers Foods’ board of directors has elected Allen L. Shiver president and CEO, effective May 22, 2013. Shiver, who has 33 years with the company, currently serves as president.
George E. Deese, current chairman of the board and CEO, has been elected executive chairman of the board, effective the same date.
"The board and I are confident in Allen's continued leadership as our team integrates recent acquisitions and focuses on growing sales and earnings," Deese said. "My role as executive chairman is to ensure that our strategic direction is sound and that Flowers' culture—what defines our team as unique in our industry—remains strong so we can continue to build value for our shareholders."
Shiver (pictured left) noted that Flowers will remain focused on strengthening its number two position in the U.S. fresh baked foods market. "With pending acquisitions and market expansions currently underway, we expect to surpass our 2016 goal of reaching 75 percent of the U.S. population with our fresh baked foods three years ahead of schedule,” he said. “Even so, we will have significant growth opportunities in our new markets and in our core territories for years to come and I am confident on our team's ability to achieve our long-term growth objectives."
During his career with Flowers, Shiver has been promoted to increasing levels of responsibility in sales, marketing, and operations. Since being named president in 2010, he has provided operational oversight, been involved in strategic growth initiatives, and given guidance to the company's national sales and marketing efforts.
Shiver is an American Bakers Association (ABA) board member, and previously served as ABA's chairman of the board. He is a past co-chair of the Grain Foods Foundation Board of Trustees, and currently serves on the President's Advisory Council and Industry Affairs Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).
Benjamin H. Griswold IV, Flowers’ presiding director, noted Deese’s continued involvement after the executive changes take effect. “[Deese’s] insight and collaborative management style have helped create the operating strategies and company culture that set Flowers Foods apart from not only its bakery peers, but also others in the food industry,” Griswold said. “George's continued guidance will be essential as the company navigates new growth opportunities while working to preserve its unique culture and strategic direction."
Deese (pictured right) was elected CEO in 2004, and continued Flowers' decades-long tradition of consistent sales growth through acquisitions, market expansion, and organic growth in core markets. Under his leadership as CEO, Flowers Foods grew from a regional baked foods company with access to 38 percent of the U.S. population and annual sales of $1.5 billion in 2004 to the second-largest baking company in the country with more than $3 billion in sales.
Deese's career with Flowers spans 48 years. From 1983 until 2002, Deese was president and COO of Flowers Bakeries, the company's fresh baked foods business. He was elected president and COO of Flowers Foods in 2002, CEO in 2004, and chairman in 2006. Deese also served as an industry leader, acting as chairman of ABA, and held various leadership roles with GMA. He currently serves as a member of the board for Georgia Research Alliance and as a member of the Mayo Jacksonville Leadership Council.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers in the United States.