At its annual leadership meeting, Flowers Foods announced an enhanced organizational structure designed to provide greater focus on the company's strategic objectives under Project Centennial, emphasize brand growth and innovation in line with a national branded food company, drive enhanced accountability, reduce costs, and strengthen long-term strategy.
The new organizational structure establishes two business units (BUs), Fresh Bakery and Specialty/Snacking, and realigns key leadership roles. The company will transition to the new structure over the next several months with full implementation expected during fiscal 2018. The current Direct-Store-Delivery and Warehouse segmentation will remain until the new structure is in place.
"This change in our organizational structure is an important step for Flowers as we take decisive action to focus on the consumer and remove complexity and costs from our business," said Allen L. Shiver, Flowers Foods president and CEO. "Strategically dividing our business into Fresh Bakery and Specialty/Snacking will reinvigorate each unit and enable them to take actions to drive growth for their respective brand portfolios and product categories. We also are realigning our leadership structure to better address the changing consumer and operating environment, and drive to be a more efficient and effective organization. I am confident our new structure will allow us to achieve our strategic objectives and deliver enhanced value for shareholders."
New Business Units to Drive Increased Focus on the Consumer
The Fresh Bakery BU will include Flowers' core and growth bread brands, including Nature's Own, Wonder, Dave's Killer Bread, and Cobblestone Bread Company. Fresh Bakery's mission will be to drive brand growth and profitability through incremental innovation, consistent execution, and cost-efficiency.
The Snacking/Specialty BU will consist of Flowers' product lines outside of the retail bread aisle. This BU will be responsible for the company's snack cake brands, Tastykake and Mrs. Freshley's, specialty bread brands including Alpine Valley, and Flowers' foodservice business. Reflecting the opportunity to grow in these underdeveloped categories, the mission of the Snacking/Specialty BU will be to drive brand growth and profitability through new product innovation and build scale in growing categories.
The new structure also provides for centralized marketing, sales, supply chain, shared-service/administrative, and corporate strategy functions, each with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Specifically:
- The centralized marketing function will support both BUs by driving consumer insights, building brand awareness, and developing a leading R&D capability;
- The new sales organization will provide richer engagement with the company's independent distributor partners and support each BU's strategies with stronger execution at both a national and local level;
- An enterprise-wide supply chain function will promote greater efficiencies among Flowers' production and distribution networks, while maintaining the best-in-class quality that the company's brands are known for;
- Expansion of the company's shared-service and administrative functions will allow for greater leverage of Flowers' scale and continue to deliver ongoing cost containment actions; and
- A corporate strategy function will advise the CEO and senior leadership team on long-term strategy, acquisitions, and other corporate development activities.
Senior Leadership Team Aligned with Strategic InitiativesIn connection with the organizational redesign, the company has realigned the senior leadership team that will report to Shiver. Until the new structure is implemented, these individuals will continue to serve in their current roles.
- R. Steve Kinsey, currently executive vice president (EVP) and CFO, will be chief financial & administrative officer.
- Bradley K. Alexander, currently EVP and COO, will be business unit president, Fresh Bakery.
- David M. Roach, currently senior vice president (SVP) of Organics, will be business unit president, Specialty/Snacking.
- D. Keith Wheeler, currently president of Flowers Bakeries, will be chief sales officer.
- Stephen R. Avera, currently EVP, secretary & general counsel, will be chief legal counsel.
- Robert L. Benton, Jr., currently SVP and chief manufacturing officer, will be chief supply chain officer.
- A. Ryals McMullian, Jr., currently vice president of M&A and deputy general counsel, will be chief strategy officer.
- Tonja W. Taylor, currently SVP of Human Resources, will be chief human resources officer.
- The position of chief marketing officer is currently being recruited.