Flowers Foods Announces Enhanced Organizational Structure

THOMASVILLE, Ga., May 3, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Today at its annual leadership meeting, Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) announced an enhanced organizational structure designed to provide greater focus on the company's strategic objectives under Project Centennial, emphasize brand growth and innovation in line with a national branded food company, drive enhanced accountability, reduce costs, and strengthen long-term strategy.

The new organizational structure establishes two business units (BUs), Fresh Bakery and Specialty/Snacking, and realigns key leadership roles. The company will transition to the new structure over the next several months with full implementation expected during fiscal 2018. The current Direct-Store-Delivery and Warehouse segmentation will remain until the new structure is in place.

"This change in our organizational structure is an important step for Flowers as we take decisive action to focus on the consumer and remove complexity and costs from our business," said Allen L. Shiver, Flowers Foods President and CEO. "Strategically dividing our business into Fresh Bakery and Specialty/Snacking will reinvigorate each unit and enable them to take actions to drive growth for their respective brand portfolios and product categories. We also are realigning our leadership structure to better address the changing consumer and operating environment, and drive to be a more efficient and effective organization. I am confident our new structure will allow us to achieve our strategic objectives and deliver enhanced value for shareholders."

New Business Units to Drive Increased Focus on the Consumer

The Fresh Bakery BU will include Flowers' core and growth bread brands, including Nature's Own, Wonder, Dave's Killer Bread, and Cobblestone Bread Company. Fresh Bakery's mission will be to drive brand growth and profitability through incremental innovation, consistent execution, and cost-efficiency.

The Snacking/Specialty BU will consist of Flowers' product lines outside of the retail bread aisle. This BU will be responsible for the company's snack cake brands, Tastykake and Mrs. Freshley's, specialty bread brands including Alpine Valley, and Flowers' foodservice business. Reflecting the opportunity to grow in these underdeveloped categories, the mission of the Snacking/Specialty BU will be to drive brand growth and profitability through new product innovation and build scale in growing categories.

The new structure also provides for centralized marketing, sales, supply chain, shared-service/administrative, and corporate strategy functions, each with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. Specifically:

  • The centralized marketing function will support both BUs by driving consumer insights, building brand awareness, and developing a leading R&D capability;
  • The new sales organization will provide richer engagement with the company's independent distributor partners and support each BU's strategies with stronger execution at both a national and local level;
  • An enterprise-wide supply chain function will promote greater efficiencies among Flowers' production and distribution networks, while maintaining the best-in-class quality that the company's brands are known for;
  • Expansion of the company's shared-service and administrative functions will allow for greater leverage of Flowers' scale and continue to deliver ongoing cost containment actions; and
  • A corporate strategy function will advise the CEO and senior leadership team on long-term strategy, acquisitions, and other corporate development activities.

Senior Leadership Team Aligned with Strategic Initiatives
In connection with the organizational redesign, the company has realigned the senior leadership team that will report to Shiver. Until the new structure is implemented, these individuals will continue to serve in their current roles.

  • R. Steve Kinsey, currently Executive Vice President (EVP) and CFO, will be Chief Financial & Administrative Officer.
  • Bradley K. Alexander, currently EVP and COO, will be Business Unit President, Fresh Packaged Bread.
  • David M. Roach, currently Senior Vice President (SVP) of Organics, will be Business Unit President, Specialty/Snacking.
  • D. Keith Wheeler, currently President of Flowers Bakeries, will be Chief Sales Officer.
  • Stephen R. Avera, currently EVP, Secretary & General Counsel, will be Chief Legal Counsel.
  • Robert L. Benton, Jr., currently SVP and Chief Manufacturing Officer, will be Chief Supply Chain Officer.
  • A. Ryals McMullian, Jr., currently Vice President of M&A and Deputy General Counsel, will be Chief Strategy Officer.
  • Tonja W. Taylor, currently SVP of Human Resources, will be Chief Human Resources Officer.
  • The position of Chief Marketing Officer is currently being recruited.

About Project Centennial
In June of 2016, the company launched Project Centennial, an enterprise-wide business and operational review to evaluate opportunities to streamline our operations, drive efficiencies, and invest in strategic capabilities that Flowers believes will strengthen its competitive position and drive profitable revenue growth. Based on the results of this review, Flowers identified the four primary strategic initiatives listed below. The company implemented a plan to transition to these primary strategies in fiscal 2017 with the transition expected to be completed by fiscal 2021.

  • Reinvigorate the core business – invest in the growth and innovation of our core brands, streamline our brand and product portfolio, improve trade promotion management, and strengthen our partnership with distributors so they can grow their businesses
  • Capitalize on product adjacencies – greater focus on growing segments of the bakery category, such as foodservice, in-store bakery, impulse items, and healthy snacking
  • Reduce costs to fuel growth – reduce complexity and better leverage scale to lower costs
  • Develop leading capabilities – invest in capabilities to become a more centralized and analytics-focused company

About Flowers Foods
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE: FLO) is one of the largest producers of fresh packaged bakery foods in the United States with 2016 sales of $3.9 billion. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Wonder, Tastykake, and Dave's Killer Bread. Learn more at www.flowersfoods.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements contained in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements relate to current expectations regarding our future financial condition, performance and results of operations, planned capital expenditures, long-term objectives of management, supply and demand, pricing trends and market forces, and integration plans and expected benefits of transactions and are often identified by the use of words and phrases such as "anticipate," "believe," "continue," "could," "estimate," "expect," "intend," "may," "plan," "predict," "project," "should," "will," "would," "is likely to," "is expected to" or "will continue," or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Other factors that may cause actual results to differ from the forward-looking statements contained in this release and that may affect the company's prospects in general include, but are not limited to (a) competitive conditions in the baked foods industry, including promotional and price competition, (b) changes in consumer demand for our products, including changes in consumer behavior, trends and preferences, including health and whole grain trends, and the movement toward more inexpensive store-branded products, (c) the success of productivity improvements and new product introductions, (d) a significant reduction in business with any of our major customers including a reduction from adverse developments in any of our customer's business, (e) fluctuations in commodity pricing, (f) energy and raw material costs and availability and hedging and counterparty risk, (g) our ability to fully integrate recent acquisitions into our business, (h) our ability to achieve cash flow from capital expenditures and acquisitions and the availability of new acquisitions that build shareholder value; (i) consolidation within the baking industry and related industries; (j) disruptions in our direct-store delivery system, including litigation or an adverse ruling from a court or regulatory or government body that could affect the independent contractor classification of our independent distributors, and (k) the failure of our information technology systems to perform adequately, including any interruptions, intrusions or security breaches of such systems. The foregoing list of important factors does not include all such factors, nor necessarily present them in order of importance. In addition, you should consult other disclosures made by the company, including the risk factors included in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and disclosures made in other filings with the SEC and company press releases, for other factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from those projected by the company. We caution you not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, as they speak only as of the date made and are inherently uncertain. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise or update such statements, except as required by law.

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SOURCE Flowers Foods, Inc.

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