John R. Ranelli was named president and chief executive officer, of Central Garden & Pet effective Feb. 11, at the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
Bill Brown, Central’s chairman and CEO, will continue as chairman, and for the next six months, Gus Halas , will continue in his present role as CEO and president of Central Operating Companies at Central Garden & Pet and help transition Ranelli into the CEO position.
Ranelli has been a member of the board of directors of Central Garden & Pet and a member of the board’s audit committee since 2010. He will remain on Central’s board.
“Over the last two years, John has become a leader on our board and a trusted partner,” Brown said. “His close to 40 years of experience in building consumer product companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded consumer products company.”
Ranelli has extensive experience in leading mid- to large-size consumer product companies, driving shareholder value through transformation initiatives and revenue and profitability growth. Previously, he served as CEO of Mikasa Inc., a global dinnerware, crystal and home accessories company, of FGX International, a global optical company and, most recently, of Woolrich Inc., an outdoor clothing company.
“We have a great opportunity to build out brands by continuing to invest in marketing and new product innovation,” Ranelli said. “I am confident that as we strengthen our customer relationships, develop stronger ties with the consumer and continue to improve our execution, we will deliver the sustainable, profitable growth that we expect of our company and create meaningful value for our shareholders. I look forward to working with Central team to achieve these goals.”
He has also served in senior executive capacities with The Timberland Company, Stride Rite Corporation, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, and TLC Beatrice. He has served on the boards of GNC, Deckers Outdoor Corp, Party City and Woolrich. Ranelli will continue to serve on the Woolrich board as non-executive chairman.
“While we have considerable work yet to do, Central is a different company today than it was a year ago,” Brown said.” We are transforming Central from what was essentially a collection of over 20 operating companies into an integrated organization. We are focused on building our brands and introducing innovative new products to the marketplace.”
He continued, “We are eliminating redundant costs and pursuing a plan to achieve significant savings over the next few years. As we begin the next phase of our transformation, John Ranelli is the right person to build on this progress and to drive the company forward so that it can meet the expectations of our customers and shareholders.”