TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA — Joseph D. Ennen has been named chief executive officer of SunOpta Inc. He succeeds Katrina L. Houde, who had been serving as interim CEO. Houde will continue as a member of the board of directors.
Ennen has more than 30 years of food and beverage experience, holding senior management positions at several companies, most recently as CEO of Columbus Foods. Prior to Columbus Foods, he was senior vice-president of consumer brands at Safeway. Earlier, he was group vice-president of innovation and vice-president of marketing for core brands at Frito-Lay. He also has worked as vice-president and general manager of the Healthy Choice brand at Conagra Brands and as marketing director for Kellogg U.K.
He received a bachelor of science degree in business from the University of Minnesota and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan.
“We are pleased to announce the hiring of an extraordinarily talented, passionate and driven leader,” said Dean Hollis, chairman of SunOpta. “Joe has a proven history of delivering results and a strong sense of urgency. We are confident Joe is the right person to continue our Value Creation Plan and lead the company to future growth. Joe’s track record of attacking costs, improving margins, driving growth and commercializing a robust innovation agenda makes him the ideal leader for SunOpta.”
SunOpta terminated the tenure of David J. Colo as president and CEO in late February, citing disappointing financial results and a desire for a change in leadership.
SunOpta sustained a loss of $117.114 million in the year ended Dec. 29, 2018, which compared with a loss of $143.129 million in fiscal 2017. Revenues slipped to $1.26 billion from $1.28 billion.