NATIONAL REPORT — Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in the convenience store industry are only as good as their management teams and employees. In this special roundup, Convenience Store News runs down the most recent executive changes, new hires, promotions and people achievements happening in the industry.
ConAgra Foods Inc.
Sean M. Connolly will become CEO of ConAgra Foods effective April 6. He will replace Gary M. Rodkin, current CEO.
Connolly brings extensive leadership experience. He was president and CEO of The Hillshire Brands Co. from the time of its formation as an independent company in 2012 to its sale to Tyson Foods in August 2014. Prior to that, he was CEO for Sara Lee North American Retail and Foodservice, as well as president of Campbell Soup North America.
"We are thrilled to have Sean join ConAgra Foods as our new CEO," said Steve Goldstone, chairman of ConAgra Foods' board of directors. "His track record of building brands, energizing teams and creating value makes him an ideal fit. We are confident he will infuse focus and enthusiasm at ConAgra Foods."
Rodkin announced in August his impending retirement, which will take place at the end of ConAgra Foods' fiscal year on May 31. From April 6 to his retirement, Rodkin will serve as advisor to the company.
Steve Schuckenbrock has taken over the CEO role at Crossmark as Ben Fischer, former CEO, moved to chairman of the board. These leadership changes took effect in late 2014.
Schuckenbrock brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience to Crossmark. His resume includes positions at Dell, where he served as president of Dell Services; EDS, where he served as co-chief operating officer and executive vice president of global sales; and PepsiCo Inc. and Frito-Lay Inc., where he was global chief information officer. Most recently, he served as president and CEO of Accretive Health.
Crossmark also named Jim Norred as president of its Marketing Solutions Group. Norred most recently served as executive vice president, Corporate Development. Prior to that, he was the company's chief information officer.
Kraft Foods Group Inc.
Kraft Foods Chairman John Cahill has succeeded Tony Vernon as CEO.
Cahill previously served as chairman and CEO of The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. He joined Kraft in January 2012 as executive chairman designate of the North American grocery business. He became executive chairman upon the company's spinoff and transitioned to a non-executive chairman role in March.
Vernon served as CEO since the consumer packaged food and beverage company's spinoff from Mondelez International Inc. in October 2012. Before that, he was the company's executive vice president and president of Kraft Foods North America. He retired at the end of 2014.
Vernon will remain with the company through March 31 as a senior adviser. He will also continue as a board member until the next annual meeting.
Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores
Love's started off 2015 with a number of personnel moves.
Ginny Webb was promoted to chief information officer and vice president of technology. Kevin Asbury was promoted to executive vice president of operations. And Brent Bergevin has been promoted to vice president of transportation of Gemini Motor Transport, Love's fuel hauling company.
In addition, Jon Archard was promoted to vice president of fuel marketing; Rick Shuffield to vice president of real estate and development; Tony LoPresto to director of finance; and Michael Hartfield to director of human resources.
In other promotion news, Justin Long was promoted to director of business-aligned IT, while Mike McCane has been promoted to director of development and data services.
MillerCoors CEO Tom Long will retire from the company on June 30. The MillerCoors board of directors has accepted Long's decision and is conducting a search to identify a successor to lead MillerCoors through its next phase of growth and development.
"It has truly been the honor of my career to run MillerCoors. I have woken up every day excited to lead the company forward," Long said. "I am leaving a company and a team, both of which are stronger than they have ever been. MillerCoors is in position to capitalize on the changing forces within the U.S. beer industry more decisively than ever and my team has the passion, conviction, creativity and business plan to win in the long term in this industry."
Long has led MillerCoors as CEO since 2011, having been president and chief commercial officer since the launch of the MillerCoors joint venture in 2008. He had been president and CEO of Miller Brewing Co. since 2006, after joining as chief marketing officer in 2005.
Murphy USA Inc.
Jeff Goodwin, senior vice president of retail operations at Murphy USA, will retire March 31 after a 14-year career with the retailer.
Goodwin began his career at Murphy USA as a district manager in 2001 and held positions including maintenance manager, division manager, region manager and various other positions before assuming his current role in 2012.
"Jeff has accomplished a great deal in his career at Murphy USA. As one of our early leaders in the field, he was instrumental in building the incredible business that we have today. We are grateful for his long-term service and his dedication to Murphy USA. We all wish Jeff well in his retirement," said President and CEO Andrew Clyde.
PAX Labs Inc.
PAX Labs Inc., formerly known as Ploom, added two senior executives to its team. Timothy Danaher was named vice president of finance and Scott Dunlap was appointed chief marketing officer.
Danaher will play a critical role in developing and executing the overall business and financial strategy of the company to maximize sales growth and profitability. Dunlap will be responsible for crafting the strategic marketing vision and plan behind all of PAX Lab's future products. Both will report to CEO James Monsees.
Danaher is a former investment banker and buy-side investment professional. He previously spent four-plus years as president and chief operating officer at Bellator Sport Worldwide LLC. Dunlap was managing director at Tenth Dimension Design Labs, a digital marketing agency and data science lab focused on mobile and e-commerce growth for luxury brands.
Two members of Sunoco LP's executive team are resigning from the company in April.
Mary E. Sullivan, executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Sunoco GP LLC, the general partner of Sunoco LP, will leave the company effective April 25. In addition, Rocky B. Dewbre, executive vice president, channel operations will leave effective April 21.
In connection with the changes, the board of directors approved the appointment of Clare McGrory, current senior vice president of finance and investor relations, to CFO and treasurer effective upon Sullivan's resignation. McGrory has served in her current position since Aug. 29 and prior to that was vice president of finance for Sunoco Inc.