PARSIPPANY, N.J. — Kenneth G. Romanzi will take over as president and chief executive officer of B&G Foods, Inc. following the retirement of longtime leader Robert C. Cantwell on April 5. Mr. Cantwell, a 35-year veteran of the company, will continue to advise B&G Foods on mergers and acquisitions and capital markets transactions.
Mr. Romanzi is executive vice-president and chief operating officer of B&G Foods. He joined the company from WhiteWave Foods Corp., where he was president of fresh foods from March 2016 to October 2017, responsible for the Earthbound Farm Organic business. Previously, he was senior vice-president and c.o.o., global brands, at Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. from 2013 to 2015 and c.o.o. of Ocean Spray’s North American food and beverage business from 2004 to 2013. Prior to joining Ocean Spray, he was president of the U.S. toys division of Hasbro Inc., president and c.e.o. of Naked Juice and president and c.e.o. of Balducci’s Direct, a gourmet food catalog business. He also held leadership positions at Nabisco and Cadbury Schweppes. He began his career in marketing at Frito-Lay, Inc. in 1982.
Mr. Cantwell joined B&G Foods in 1983 as the assistant vice-president of finance. He advanced to the role of executive vice-president and chief financial officer in 1991. He assumed leadership of the company on Jan. 1, 2015.
“Bob Cantwell has been a key member of our management team for more than 35 years,” said Stephen C. Sherrill, chairman of the board of directors. “During Mr. Cantwell’s tenure, B&G Foods has completed more than 20 acquisitions and grown from a small, regional pickle company to a leading public food company with a diverse portfolio of iconic brands. As chief executive officer over the last four years, Mr. Cantwell has transformed B&G Foods by completing six acquisitions, including the Green Giant acquisition and the spices and seasonings acquisition, the two largest acquisitions in company history, and the company’s net sales have approximately doubled during Mr. Cantwell’s tenure as c.e.o.
“Bob’s long list of accomplishments, including in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, operational improvements and cost reduction efforts, has helped lead to tremendous value creation for B&G Foods’ stockholders over the years. Bob and his management team achieved this through hard work, passion and determination and most importantly, with honesty and integrity.”
A succession plan for B&G Foods’ leadership was established in 2017. Commenting on Mr. Romanzi’s promotion, Mr. Cantwell said, “During the past year, Ken has demonstrated that he has the experience and leadership skills to successfully lead B&G Foods to its next phase of growth. Ken has been a terrific partner, and I am confident that he is the right person to guide B&G Foods into the future.”