Snack and bakery company Flowers Foods, Inc. has announced that effective July 14, 2023, Robert L. Benton, Jr., executive vice president of network optimization, will retire from the company after 43 years of service.

“On behalf of the entire Flowers team, I wish to express my deep appreciation to Robert for his years of service,” says Ryals McMullian, chairman, CEO, and president of Flowers Foods. “Robert is one of the most knowledgeable and capable engineers in the baking industry. In his career at Flowers, he oversaw the design and construction of 10 new bakeries, while redesigning and updating countless others to better serve our customers and adapt to changing consumer markets. Few people in the history of our company have made such a lasting, positive impact on our growth and prosperity. We wish him the very best in his retirement.”

Prior to being named to his current position in 2019, Benton served as chief supply chain officer. During his career, his responsibilities have included manufacturing and distribution productivity and efficiency, capital projects, regulatory and quality assurance, and safety and environmental affairs. Benton has also served as senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer, senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support, vice president of manufacturing, and held local and regional manufacturing positions within the company. He joined the company in 1980.

In addition, Mr. Benton has held leadership roles in several industry groups, including the American Institute of Baking, Bakery Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds, and the American Society of Baking, where he was a past chairman.

Flowers Foods is on the current Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery “Top 50 Snack & Bakery Companies” list. Click here to view the current “Top 50” rankings.