Joseph Ennen assumed the helm as chief executive officer of SunOpta Inc. on April 1. The company, headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, packs and distributes a wide assortment of organic and non-GMO food products that include Pure Nature brand frozen vegetables and fruits.
Interim CEO Katrina L. Houde, who stepped in to temporarily head up SunOpta upon the departure David Colo in February, will retain her seat on the board of directors and work closely with Ennen to ensure a seamless transition. In conjunction with his appointment, the new ceo will also become a board member.
Ennen brings more than 30 years of extensive food and beverage experience to the job, having held senior management positions at Columbus Manufacturing, Safeway, Pepsico/Frito Lay, ConAgra Foods, Kellogg’s and General Mills. He was most recently at Columbus Manufacturing, serving as president and ceo from early 2015 until its sale to Hormel Foods in December of 2017. During that the almost three-year period he was in charge revenues increased 35%, EBITDA rose 60%, gross margins improved by 500 bps, and 38% of receipts was attributed to the sale of new and renovated items.
“Joe has a proven history of delivering results and a strong sense of urgency,” said SunOpta Chairman Dean Hollis. “We are confident he is the right person to continue our Value Creation Plan and lead the company to future growth.”