Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods Inc., plans to retire next spring.

ConAgra Foods, chief executive officer, CEO, Gary Rodkin, retire, Steven Goldstone, package food company

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ConAgra Foods chief executive to retire

August 11th, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. – Gary Rodkin, chief executive officer of ConAgra Foods Inc., plans to retire next spring.

ConAgra said Monday that Rodkin informed the board of directors of his intention to retire in May 2015, the end of the packaged food company's fiscal year.

The board has established a search committee to identify Rodkin's successor. The committee is led by independent director Richard Lenny, the former chairman and CEO of The Hershey Co., who has served on the ConAgra Foods board since 2009.

"ConAgra Foods is making good progress on its priorities, and we are confident in the company's ability to deliver on its fiscal year EPS commitments," stated Steven Goldstone, chairman of ConAgra Foods. "The board is extremely appreciative of Gary's leadership, vision and accomplishments over his almost nine years as CEO of ConAgra Foods. Under his stewardship, ConAgra Foods has transformed from a holding company into one unified company, with a well-balanced portfolio of consumer, commercial and private brand businesses, and strong operating capabilities. To achieve this transformation, Gary made necessary and bold moves with the company’s portfolio and drove significant cultural change throughout the business.

"We also appreciate the early notification Gary provided, so that we can begin the search and put the right successor in place over the course of this fiscal year," Goldstone added. "We look forward to Gary's participation in the succession process."

Rodkin, 62, joined ConAgra Foods in October 2005. Before that, he was chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Beverages and Foods North America, where he led a $10 billion organization that included leading brands such as Pepsi, Gatorade, Quaker Foods and Tropicana. He joined PepsiCo in 1998 after it acquired Tropicana, where he had served as president since 1995. From 1979 to 1995, he held marketing and general management positions at General Mills, with his last three years as president of the Yoplait yogurt division.

"I'm pleased we are beginning my last fiscal year at ConAgra Foods by making good progress, and I have deep conviction that we are on the right path to deliver sustainable, profitable growth due to our significantly improved operational capabilities and our differentiated portfolio that is right for today's value-oriented consumers," Rodkin commented. "I will continue to lead our team with focus and enthusiasm until my successor is on board, and I look forward to helping with the transition process."

ConAgra's roster of food brands includes Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt's, Marie Callender's, Orville Redenbacher's, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim and Snack Pack, among others, as well as private labels in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club and drug stores.