Flowers Foods’ board of directors elected Allen L. Shiver president and CEO, effective May 22, 2013, the date of the company’s annual shareholders meeting. Shiver has 33 years of service with the Thomasville, Ga.-based company and currently serves as president. George E. Deese, current chairman of the board and CEO, was elected executive chairman of the board, effective the same date.

“This is a time of exciting opportunities for Flowers Foods, and the board and I are confident in Allen’s continued leadership as our team integrates recent acquisitions and focuses on growing sales and earnings,” says Deese. “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 notes 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% of the U.S. population with our fresh baked foods three years ahead of schedule,” he says. “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.

Deese, whose career with Flowers spans 48 years, will continue to be actively involved with the company. Elected CEO in 2004, he continued Flowers’ decades-long tradition of consistent sales growth through acquisitions, market expansion and organic growth in core markets. Under his leadership, Flowers Foods grew from a regional baked foods company with access to 38% 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 and access to more than 75% of the population for its fresh baked foods.

Source: PR Newswire