TreeHouse Announces New CEO Steve Oakland

TreeHouse Foods announced today that it has appointed Steven Oakland as Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company. Mr. Oakland also joined the Board of Directors effective March 2, 2018. Mr. Oakland will assume his executive duties on March 26, 2018. He succeeds Sam K. Reed, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of TreeHouse Foods, who will serve as non-Executive Chairman of the Board through July 1, 2018, at which time Mr. Reed will retire from the Company.

Mr. Oakland was most recently Vice Chair and President, U.S. Food and Beverage at The J.M. Smucker Company where he led the $5 billion U.S. Food and Beverage businesses across all channels, including U.S. Retail Coffee, U.S. Retail Consumer Foods, Natural Foods, U.S. Retail Sales, and Marketing Services.

“Steve brings to TreeHouse a wealth of experience moving quickly to assimilate and integrate complex businesses, designing highly effective organizations and improving the growth and profitability of acquired companies,” said Dennis O’Brien, Lead Independent Director of the Board of Directors of TreeHouse Foods. “His leadership principles and practices are the right fit for Treehouse and will serve him well as a catalyst to drive revenue growth, supply chain optimization and organizational effectiveness.”

“Steve is a proven leader,” Mr. O’Brien continued. “He has been central to transforming the Smucker Company from a fruit spreads company to a best in class Fortune 500 marketer and manufacturer spanning multiple consumer packaged goods categories. Importantly, Steve has been integral to Smucker’s consistent and strong track record of delivering long-term shareholder value.”

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to lead this great team, given its unparalleled leadership in private label food and beverage,” said Mr. Oakland. “No company is better positioned than TreeHouse to capitalize on the growing importance of private label in today’s dynamic retail landscape, which is a credit to Sam Reed and his vision. The initiatives that Sam and the team have put in place are the right ones, and I look forward to hitting the ground running to improve our execution and performance in the near term, while assessing the long-term strategic drivers of the portfolio.”

“I fully support the Board’s appointment of Steve and am pleased to hand over the reins to him. I’m delighted that we have attracted someone with a deep understanding of food and beverage and private label across all channels of distribution and classes of trade,” said Mr. Reed. “Steve brings an independent strategic perspective of how we can build and strengthen our TreeHouse going forward, and I believe his experience and expertise will prove invaluable.” Upon his retirement as non-Executive Chairman, Mr. Reed will continue to serve in a non-executive advisory capacity to Mr. Oakland through the end of the year.

Mr. Oakland has a distinguished track record with The J.M. Smucker Company. Prior to his Vice Chair and President role, he had served as President, Coffee and Away From Home; President, International, Foodservice, and Natural Foods; President, U.S. Retail – Smucker’s®, Jif®, and Hungry Jack®; Vice President and General Manager, Consumer Oils and Baking; Vice President and General Manager, Foodservice; and General Manager of J.M. Smucker Canada. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors of Foot Locker, Inc., Foster Farms, and and MTD Products Corporation.

Mr. Oakland earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in marketing and economics from Mount Union College.

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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.