TreeHouse Foods, of Oak Brook, Ill., has appointed Robert B. Aiken, Jr., 54, as president and chief operating officer, effective July 10, 2017. Most recently, Aiken served as president and chief executive officer of Essendant Inc., a $5.4 billion value-added wholesaler of workplace products where he has been driving a business transformation. Prior to that, he was president and CEO of US Foods, which, at the time, had revenues of $18 billion and more than 25,000 employees.
Aiken will assume the president's role from Dennis F. Riordan, who had previously announced his retirement. Riordan will remain with the company and move to a senior advisor role to facilitate a smooth transition of his responsibilities.
"Bob has a unique food industry background, having been both a customer – as the CEO of US Foods – and a food manufacturer – as president and chief executive officer of Metz Baking Company," said TreeHouse Foods Chairman and CEO Sam Reed. "I've known Bob for many years and am confident that his background, insight, and public company experience will prove instrumental as we complete the integration of the Private Brands business. Bob has a clear track record of driving margin expansion through a relentless focus on productivity and cost improvement in the face of industry change, and I am delighted to welcome him to the TreeHouse family."
"TreeHouse is an exceptional organization perfectly positioned to capitalize on the growth of private label," said Aiken. "The success TreeHouse has experienced to date with the integration of the Private Brands business has laid the groundwork for future optimization. I see significant untapped potential to simplify our operations, streamline our presence and improve our profitability. We have tremendous opportunity here, and I am excited to be a part of it."
Prior to Essendant, Aiken served as the CEO of Feeding America, a domestic hunger relief organization that provides more than 3.6 billion meals per year to 46 million Americans through partnerships with leading grocers, food manufacturers, and distributors. From 2004-2010, Aiken was with US Foods, where he led efforts to drive more than $1.2 billion of private label sales growth and significant profitability improvement through reorganization, information technology consolidation and cost reduction. In 2006, Aiken was appointed president and CEO of US Foods, prior to which he served as president and CEO of Metz Baking Company, a subsidiary of Specialty Foods Corporation.
Aiken holds his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington D.C.
For more information on TreeHouse Foods, visit http://www.treehousefoods.com.