Lettmann to step down as c.e.o. of Malt-O-Meal

by Eric Schroeder
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MINNEAPOLIS — Malt-O-Meal Co., the nation’s fourth-largest ready-to-eat cereal manufacturer, announced that John Lettmann, chief executive officer since 1986, will step down effective Jan. 1, 2008. Chris Neugent, currently president and chief operating officer, has been named as Mr. Lettmann’s successor.

Mr. Neugent will become only the fourth c.e.o. in Malt-O-Meal’s 88-year history. A family-owned business, Malt-O-Meal was started in 1919 by John Campbell, who remained c.e.o. until 1966. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, Glenn Brooks, who held the post for the next 20 years, at which point Mr. Lettmann took over.

Mr. Lettmann, who will continue as chairman of the board, was the first c.e.o. from outside the Campbell-Brooks family. He joined the company in 1971 after working at General Mills, Inc. During his leadership, Malt-O-Meal’s sales have increased from less than $50 million in 1985 to a projection of more than half a billion dollars in 2007.

Mr. Neugent is a native of San Antonio who joined Malt-O-Meal in 2001 as vice-president of sales and marketing, taking over as president and c.o.o. in 2003. Previously, he held sales and brand marketing positions with Frito-Lay, Inc.

Mr. Neugent is a graduate of Princeton University with a degree in economics, and also graduated from the Advanced Management Program of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

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