USA – American natural foods company Hain Celestial has announced the appointment of Wendy Davidson as its new President and CEO, effective January 1, 2023.
Davidson joins Hain Celestial from Glanbia Performance Nutrition, a maker of healthy food, drinks, and other products including SlimFast, where she served as president of the American business unit.
She brings to the role, a wealth of experience in the consumer packaged goods business having had prior roles at major CPG companies including Kellogg, McCormick & Co. and Tyson Foods.
At Glanbia, according to Hain’s release, Davidson “delivered strong results in a post-pandemic recovery” and played a role in integrating acquired brands into a single operating model.
“She is the right choice to lead Hain Celestial through its next phase of growth, and under her guidance, we look forward to the company delivering strong operating results and generating long-term shareholder value,” said Dawn Zier, chair of The Hain Celestial Group’s board.
Her predecessor Mark Schiller will become a non-executive director on the company’s board and will serve as an “ongoing resource” to her, the company said.
During Schiller’s tenure, Hain Celestial Group divested a number of businesses including Hain Pure Protein, the Westsoy tofu, seitan and tempeh businesses, the Tilda rice brand, Arrowhead Mills and SunSpire, as well as the Dream and WestSoy dairy alternative brands.
The changes were made to stabilize Hain which was facing a slowdown in sales and shrinking margins after more than a half-decade in which revenue grew more than 20% annually.
Davidson’s selection to the top post at the organic and natural food maker comes as the firm deals with outside challenges, including inflation, and internal questions over what to do with its non-core personal care products business.
While the company’s business is now on firmer ground, Davidson will inherit many of the same problems other larger food and beverage giants are facing: rising inflation, price increases, global turmoil, supply chain disruptions and evolving consumer eating habits.
In addition to addressing issues outside the company, she’ll also face internal decisions. Hain, which is best known for its chips, tea and yogurt, has long faced questions as to whether it should sell its personal care portfolio,
The portfolio which is comprised of cleansers, shampoos, sunscreens, lotions and baby care products makes up less than 10% of its sales.