Sun-Maid Growers of California has appointed Steve Loftus as president and chief operating officer, reporting to Harry Overly, executive chairman of the board. In this newly created role, all functional areas within Sun-Maid will report directly to Loftus as he will be accountable to the daily operations of the business. A 15-year industry veteran, Loftus is recognized for his ability to build and align cross functional partners around common objectives, delivering short and long term financial and strategic growth goals.

“Steve is an exceptional and proven leader in the food industry, and we’re looking forward to the contributions he will bring to the team as President and COO,” said Harry Overly, executive chairman of the board. “Steve’s strong track record of results and expertise will be a key driver in building our success as we continue to grow, transforming the iconic Sun-Maid brand to be even more relevant to today’s shoppers.”

Loftus is a multi-functional leader who has held various leadership roles at TreeHouse Foods and Kraft Heinz in finance and general management. Most recently, he served as the vice president, general manager of the condiments business unit at TreeHouse Foods, where he led the unit with approximately one billion in revenues across twelve product categories and five production facilities. Prior to his general manager role, Loftus was the head of customer finance at TreeHouse Foods, where he was responsible for all product and customer pricing strategies, as well as the company’s AOP planning processes.

The announcement comes following a strong sales year for the company. In addition to delivering these positive results, Sun-Maid also continues with the integration of Plum PBC, Sun-Maid’s first ever acquisition. In his new role, Loftus will lead the Sun-Maid business as it continues to transform, achieve strong sales, and improve upon all operating metrics.

“I’ve always admired Sun-Maid, and I’m excited to officially join the team as president and chief operating officer to help take the brand to the next level,” added Loftus. “In the new role, I plan to continue accelerating Sun-Maid’s transformation into a consumer and market-focused organization, while executing daily operations that contribute to the company’s growth strategies.”

Loftus will replace Braden Bender, who has been serving as Sun-Maid’s interim-president since September, and is returning to his role as chief financial officer.