Made by Nacho, the premium cat food brand co-founded by celebrity chef Bobby Flay and Whole Foods Market veteran Elly Truesdell, announced appointments to two new senior leadership positions effective May 1, 2023. Tom Morton has been appointed CEO and Oliver Fickes as COO of the now three-year-old cat food business.
As Made by Nacho CEO, Morton will oversee company-wide operations, commercial and retail strategy, omni channel execution and marketing for the brand. Morton brings over 20 years of broad executive experience to Made by Nacho, with expertise in driving growth and running meaningful businesses recognized for disrupting highly competitive categories.
Morton is a business leader with a proven track record across multiple leading brands in the consumer goods industry. As an officer and vice president for General Mills' $2B Blue Buffalo Pet Segment, he was a key business leader during its transition from founder-led to business-led. At GMI, he delivered a 360° brand purpose and consumer experience strategy to accelerate household penetration, acquisition and loyalty, enabling the pet business to double in size post-acquisition.
Before its $8.1B acquisition by General Mills in 2018, Morton led brand marketing and product development for Blue Buffalo from its founding in 2002, through its rise as the fastest-growing major pet food company in the U.S. and post its 2015 IPO to become the #1 natural pet food brand in the U.S. In addition, Morton worked at large multinational companies, including Nestlé Waters, as well as start-ups including SoBe Beverage Company.
Fickes joins Made by Nacho after eleven years at Blue Buffalo overseeing demand planning, customer operations and serving other supply chain leadership roles during periods of rapid expansion. He played an integral role in the transformation and evolution of key functions within the brand through creative and innovative problem solving and process implementation. Most recently, Fickes was COO for Nulo Pet Food tasked with the maturation of the supply chain while directing other key initiatives. As COO of Made by Nacho, he will lead all operational functions to build and scale the business, while unlocking supply chain efficiencies and customer opportunities along the way. Additionally, he will provide cross-functional experience and guidance while serving on the senior leadership team.
Made by Nacho Co-Founder, Elly Truesdell, said, "We could not be more delighted to bring in such industry talent by welcoming Tom and Oliver to the brand's executive team. Both were critical players in building Blue Buffalo, one of the pet industry's most revered brands and product lines. We're thrilled to lean on Tom and Oliver's expertise through this next phase of Made by Nacho's growth."
Morton was drawn to the Made by Nacho founders' mission to set a new culinary standard in cat food, giving cats exactly what they need to live full, nourished lives. Morton will uphold the brand's "cat-first" ethos, inspired by the incredible bond between Bobby Flay and his Maine Coon, Nacho.
Morton is committed to accelerating the Made by Nacho business and making the brand a household name for cat owners everywhere. "I'm excited to join the Made by Nacho family, and to help elevate the cat food category, by pairing Bobby's culinary expertise with his inspiration for the brand, Nacho, to deliver a better kind of cat food."