PARSIPPANY, N.J. – B&G Foods, Inc. is looking for a new leader following the December retirement of David Wenner, president and chief executive officer.

During 21 years in his leadership position, Mr. Wenner transformed B&G Foods from a regional pickle company with three brands to a public company with more than 40 iconic brands with net sales approaching $900 million.

“Dave’s leadership has also resulted in tremendous value creation for B&G Foods’ stockholders in the form of dividends and stock price appreciation,” said Stephen Sherrill, chairman of the board of directors. “Dave and his management team, including his longtime chief financial officer, Bob Cantwell, have built a business with hard work, passion and most importantly, honesty and integrity. On behalf of the entire board of directors, I express our sincere gratitude to Dave for his invaluable and devoted service to B&G Foods, and for his innumerable contributions to B&G Foods during his distinguished tenure as president and chief executive officer.”

The board has appointed a special committee to choose Mr. Wenner’s successor. The company said it will consider both internal and external candidates.

Mr. Wenner is expected to remain on the board of directors following his retirement.

“It has been a unique honor and privilege to lead B&G Foods for all these years,” Mr. Wenner said. “I have been fortunate to work with an incredible group of fellow employees and I am proud of what we have accomplished together. I leave with tremendous confidence in their abilities and in B&G Foods’ future. As appealing as it is to continue to be part of this remarkable company, I turn 65 in October. I feel that this milestone in my life signals the right time to make a change for myself and my family. After over 20 years of my leadership, it also seems an appropriate time to transition B&G Foods to new leadership.”