THOMASVILLE, GA. — Amos Ryals McMullian Jr. has been elected president and chief executive officer of Flowers Foods, Inc. by the company’s board. He will succeed Allen L. Shiver, who intends to retire from the company and step down from the board of directors following Flowers’ annual meeting in May.
“Succession planning has long been an important priority for the board, and we are pleased to elect Ryals as Flowers Foods’ next president and c.e.o.,” said Benjamin H. Griswold, IV, presiding director of Flowers’ board. “Ryals has been a driving force behind the effort to grow the company into new areas we believe can enhance shareholder value and strengthen our competitive position. He has done an outstanding job aligning the team behind our strategic goals and pushing our efforts forward. We are confident he is the right choice to take the helm at this exciting and important time in our company’s history.”
Mr. McMullian joined Flowers Foods in 2003 as associate general counsel. He later was promoted to vice-president of mergers and acquisitions and chief trategy officer. He had been chief operating officer since July 2018, with responsibility for executing the company’s strategies to drive growth and expand margins through cost savings and operating efficiencies under Project Centennial. He also has had oversight of the company’s two business units (Fresh Packaged Bread and Snacking/Specialty), supply chain and sales. In addition, he maintained oversight of corporate strategy and ventures and communications. Prior to joining Flowers Foods, he was a corporate associate in the Business Practice Group at Jones Day.
He received a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate, a master’s degree in business administration and a juris doctorate, all from Florida State University.
Mr. McMullian said he is “deeply honored” to take on the responsibility of leading Flowers into the future.
“I firmly believe in Flowers’ vision and long-term strategic plan,” he said. “We will leverage the power of our unique culture to foster an even greater sense of ownership, engagement and accountability among all team members. We will continue to take the necessary steps to better position Flowers for future growth in a dynamic business environment by strengthening critical brand-building capabilities, moving into growing adjacent segments and better leveraging our cost structure. I am energized by the exciting opportunities that lie ahead to grow shareholder value.”
Mr. McMullian’s father, Amos R. McMullian, retired as an executive at Flowers Foods in 2004 but has served as chairman emeritus since 2006. The elder Mr. McMullian, who is 80, has been a member of the company’s board of directors since 2001 and was a director of the predecessor business Flowers Industries, Inc., beginning in 1975. He was c.e.o. of Flowers Industries from 1981 until 2001 and Flowers Foods from 2001 until 2004.
Mr. Shiver’s career at Flowers spans 41 years. He joined the company in 1978 and has been promoted to increasing levels of responsibility in sales, marketing and operations during his career. He has been president and c.e.o. of Flowers Foods since 2013. He currently serves as an American Bakers Association board member and has served as the A.B.A.’s chairman of the board. He also serves as co-chair of the Grain Foods Foundation Board of Trustees and is on the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s President’s Advisory Council and Industry Affairs Council.
Commenting on Mr. Shiver’s 41-year career with the company, George E. Deese, non-executive chairman of Flowers Foods’ board of directors, said, “Allen has been a strong advocate for our company and the baking industry. He has made significant contributions to the development of our brands and the growth of the company through key acquisitions, such as Dave’s Killer Bread, and he led the team during the development and implementation of the company’s strategic transformation under Project Centennial. On behalf of the board, I thank Allen for his many years of service. We look forward to continuing to work with him during the transition period.”