Diamond Foods Names Food Industry Veteran Driscoll As President, CEO
First Published Monday, 7th May 2012 11:24 pm - © 2012 Dow Jones
(Adds background on Driscoll from Hostess in paragraphs four through six.)
Dow Jones NEWSWIRES
Diamond Foods Inc. (DMND) named former Hostess Brands Chief Executive Brian J. Driscoll as its new president and chief executive, three months after the snack-food company ousted its former chief executive and chief financial officer amid an internal accounting probe.
Director Rick G. Wolford had served as interim chief executive since February while the company conducted a search for a permanent CEO.
Driscoll, 53, served as Hostess Brands CEO from June 2010 until March. He has also held positions at Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT), Nabisco, Nestle SA (NESN.VX), and Procter & Gamble Co. (PG).
Driscoll was replaced as CEO at Hostess Brands Inc. in March--a month after the company sought court approval to pay him a lucrative contract as the leader of the plan that would get the company out of bankruptcy.
Hostess filed for Chapter 11 in January, hoping to deal with burdensome debt and labor costs that the Twinkies maker said left it fighting to be competitive.
"He took on a very difficult set of issues at Hostess and that experience will also serve him well as he steps into his role at Diamond," a Diamond spokeswoman said.
Chairman Robert J. Zollars said Driscoll's "proven management skills" and his 30 years of experience with food and consumer businesses "make him a perfect choice for Diamond."
Driscoll will also join Diamond's board.
In February, Diamond Foods fired its chief executive and chief financial officer, and said it would restate financial results for two years, after an internal probe found it had wrongly accounted for payments to walnut growers. The accounting irregularities also were cited as reasons for the collapse of Diamond Food's $2.35 billion deal to buy the Pringles brand of snack chips from Procter & Gamble Corp. (PG). P&G ultimately sold the business to Kellogg Co. (K).
Diamond shares were down 0.3% to $22.20 in recent after-hours trading. The stock is down 31% since the start of the year.
-By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287; firstname.lastname@example.org
--Emily Glazer contributed to this article.