Champion Petfoods, maker of the award-winning ORIJEN and ACANA dog and cat foods, announced on July 25 that the Board of Directors has named Blaine McPeak as Chief Executive Officer. Additionally, Greg Christenson will fill the currently vacant role of Chief Financial Officer. Both executives will join Champion effective immediately. The Company’s Chief Operations Officer, John Frierott, who has been serving as interim CEO, will remain as COO.
McPeak brings more than 25 years of experience building brands and developing companies in the consumer packaged goods industry. He previously served as Chief Operating Officer of The WhiteWave Foods Company, a mission-centric company that achieved top-tier industry performance. There he built nascent brands such as Silk plant-based foods & beverages and Horizon Organic dairy products into industry leaders in their categories. Prior to joining WhiteWave, McPeak served 13 years at Kellogg Company where he led multiple divisions including being the inaugural leader for the Kashi Company.
Jim Walker, Chairman of the Board of Directors said, “During our search for a new CEO, there were several world-class executives interested in becoming CEO of Champion. What stood out about Blaine was his background as the architect behind building successful high-growth businesses and industry leading brands that appeal to health-conscious consumers. Our award-winning ORIJEN and ACANA brands are amongst the highest quality pet foods in the industry and already among the top choices of Pet Lovers everywhere. We are delighted that Blaine has agreed to lead the Champion team and further grow and distribute these top brands to ensure Pet Lovers everywhere can access these protein-rich foods and Biologically Appropriate diets for their pets.”
McPeak said, “I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Champion Petfoods into its next phase of growth in the vibrant pet foods industry and to work with a team so committed to advancing pet health.
There’s so much runway for the business to leverage its award-winning kitchens, world-class research and innovation center, and high quality foods developed with the Biologically Appropriate principles.”
Christenson is an experienced executive with a history of building brands, delivering growth and driving profitability, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Amplify Snack Brands where he led all financial and accounting functions. Prior to joining Amplify, he was Chief Financial Officer of WhiteWave and Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Oberto Brands. He also spent 14 years at Kraft Foods in several leadership roles.
McPeak added, “We are fortunate to have someone as talented as Greg, whom I know well from our time together at WhiteWave, join the team as CFO. His deep experience in the consumer packaged goods industry working with premium brands will be a great addition to the leadership team.”
Christenson said, “I look forward to reuniting with Blaine and drawing on our successful working relationship. I’m excited to work with the entire Champion team to untap the full potential of the business.”
The Company’s Chief Operations Officer, John Frierott, had agreed several months ago to temporarily step in as interim CEO while a search was conducted for an executive with an established track record of building brands. Jim Walker said, “John has done an outstanding job over the last few months and he is& looking forward to resuming his activities as the Company’s Chief Operations Officer working with Blaine and Greg.”