Flowers Foods Inc., Thomasville, GA, recently announced two executive transitions in its manufacturing leadership, effective immediately:
• Michael A. Beaty, formerly executive vice president of supply chain, will retire this spring. Until then, he will serve as executive vice president and oversee special projects for the company.
• Robert L. Benton Jr., formerly senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support, has been named senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer.
"During his 47-year career with Flowers Foods, Mike has been instrumental in creating a network of bakeries that—while maintaining high standards of baking and quality—are some of the most efficient in the country," says Allen L. Shiver, Flowers Foods' president and CEO. "Now, he passes the baton to Robert, who has more than 30 years of experience in bakery manufacturing and construction."
Beaty began his career at Flowers in 1968 and worked in manufacturing at a number of bakeries before joining the manufacturing team at corporate headquarters in Thomasville. He was named senior vice president of bakery operations in 1994, senior vice president of supply chain in 2002 and executive vice president of supply chain in 2008.
As senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer, Benton oversees all production facilities and associated capital expenditures, leading the company's manufacturing and engineering teams. He is responsible for major capital projects, including new bakery start-ups and expansions, which are an area of focus for Flowers Foods. He also oversees regulatory/quality assurance and safety/environmental affairs.
Benton joined Flowers in 1980 and has held a number of local, regional and corporate manufacturing roles for the company. In 2011, Benton was promoted to senior vice president of manufacturing and operations support. He has also served in leadership roles with a number of industry groups, including the American Institute of Baking International (AIB), Baking Equipment Manufacturers and Allieds (BEMA) and the American Society of Baking (ASB), where he served as chairman from 2008-2009.