DENVER – Joesph E. Scalzo, formerly the president and chief operating officer of Dean Foods Co., has joined Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. as president and chief executive officer. As Atkins c.e.o., Mr. Scalzo succeeds Monty Sharma, who will remain on the Atkins board of directors.

Atkins said Mr. Scalzo “is credited at Dean for leading the transformation of its WhiteWave Foods Co., which began as three separate businesses, into a winning consumer foods company.”

Before coming to Dean Foods, Mr. Scalzo held leadership positions at The Gillette Co. and The Coca-Cola Co. He began his career at The Procter & Gamble Co. in 1985.

Currently, Mr. Scalzo serves on the board of directors of Earthbound Farms, an organic food company.

Ezra Field , a managing director at Roark Capital Group and a member of the Atkins’ board, said of Mr. Scalzo,  “He brings great experience building valuable and trusted consumer brands, and with healthy and nutritious foods in particular, as well as strong executive leadership skills.”

Atkins Nutritionals is a portfolio company of Roark. Other food-related investments of Roark include Auntie Anne’s, Il Fornaio, Seattle’s Best, Cinnabon, Arby’s and Corner Bakery.

Atkins Nutritionals manufactures and markets frozen meals, nutrition bars and shakes designed around the principles of the Atkins Diet.