Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO), producer of Nature’s Own, Wonder, Tastykake, Dave’s Killer Bread, and other bakery foods, today announced the appointment of Ryals McMullian to the newly created role of chief operating officer (COO), effective June 27, 2018. McMullian, who had been serving as chief strategy officer, will continue to report to Allen L. Shiver, Flowers Foods’ president and CEO.
In this role, McMullian will be responsible for executing the company’s strategies to drive growth and expand margins through cost savings and operating efficiencies under Project Centennial. He will oversee the company’s two business units (Fresh Packaged Bread and Snacking/Specialty), Supply Chain, and Sales. In addition, he will maintain oversight of Corporate Strategy and Ventures and Communications. Finance, Legal, Marketing, and Human Resources will continue to report to Shiver.
“Over the past year, Flowers has been transitioning to a new organizational structure designed to remove complexity and costs from our business and provide greater focus on the consumer. The appointment of a COO increases operational visibility and accountability, making us a more effective organization,” Shiver said. “We are pleased to have an executive of Ryals’ caliber in this important new leadership role. Throughout his 15-year tenure at Flowers, Ryals has developed a deep understanding of our business and operations, successfully identified exciting new areas for growth like Dave’s Killer Bread and proven his ability to drive meaningful change and lead our team. Over the last two years, he has directed the company’s transformation under Project Centennial. As COO, he will be responsible for executing our long-term strategic initiatives, driving operating results that enhance profitability, and holding our team accountable for results.”
McMullian said, “We’ve made good progress under Project Centennial, but there is much more to be done. In addition to identifying new avenues for growth, my immediate focus will be on generating additional cost savings across all areas of the company. Working closely with Allen and the leadership team, we intend to take decisive action to further improve our efficiency and profitability while fostering a working environment that is both challenging and exciting. I am honored to serve our shareholders, customers, board of directors, and employees in this capacity. I look forward to helping our team achieve the company’s strategic objectives to strengthen our competitive position, drive revenue growth and ultimately enhance shareholder value.”
McMullian, 48, who joined the company in 2003, has served as chief strategy officer since May 2017. Prior to that he served as vice president of mergers and acquisitions and deputy general counsel, vice president and associate general counsel, and as associate general counsel. Prior to joining Flowers, McMullian was corporate associate in the Business Practice Group at Jones Day. He holds a master’s degree in business administration, a juris doctor, and a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from Florida State University.