Dimitrios Smyrnios, chief executive officer of Schwan’s Company since 2013, is now serving as executive chairman of CJCJ Food Americas. In this capacity he holds the position of chairman of the board of CJ Foods USA Inc and continues in his leadership role at Schwan’s.
Seoul, Korea-headquartered CJ CheilJedang acquired Schwan’s and several of its subsidiaries in February of 2019. Founded in 1952, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-headquartered company is a major supplier of frozen food products to both foodservice and retail markets in North America. Its wide range of name brands includes Kahiki and Pagoda Asian-style foods, Red Baron, Freschetta and Tony’s pizza, and Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards desserts. It is also a leading marketer of value-added foods to schools, universities, health care facilities, convenience stores and chain restaurants.
“We are excited to have Dimitrios chart the course for our strategic innovation and growth plans in the United States and across the Americas,” said CJ CheilJedang CEO Sinho Kang. “With a strong foundation of talented people, diverse capabilities and high quality brands and foods in the Americas, CJCJ is poised to achieve our ambitious growth goals.”
In his new role, Smyrnios is providing strategic and operational oversight of CJCJ’s food businesses in North America, including affiliates Schwan’s Company and CJ Foods USA. Together, they aim to continue driving frozen pizza, Asian food and desserts category growth for customers across the retail and foodservice marketplace.
“Since Schwan’s joined the global CJ family last year, I have been extremely impressed with the company and its commitment to the US business and our people. I am truly proud to be a part of such a world class company,” said Smyrnios. “I am also honored and excited to take on this important leadership role for CJCJ as it invests in its Americas-based people, operations, brands and products to better serve our customers and grow our business.”
CJ Foods USA offers a full range of consumer packaged foods available at retail, including dumplings, noodles, ready meals, ready to serve rice, wrappers, sauces and other authentic Asian foods sold under the Bibigo, Annie Chun’s and Twin Marquis brands.
Collectively, Schwan’s and CJ Foods USA have 21 manufacturing plants in the United States, with Schwan’s operating 16 and CJ Foods USA operating five.
About CJ CheilJedang
CJ CheilJedang is the core subsidiary in charge of the food and bioengineering business sectors of the CJ Group. It has led the development of the Korean food industry for more than 60 years and contributed to the growth of the bioengineering industry as the nation’s top food enterprise.
Launched in 1953 as a food ingredients company, CJ CheilJedang soon expanded into the processed foods sector. It has achieved outstanding growth, quantitatively and qualitatively, in food processing and food ingredients as well as in the bio in the bioengineering business.