As 2023 winds down, change is in the air at Utz Brands as the snack manufacturer has revealed a major leadership transition. Effective December 15, 2022, Dylan Lissette, current Chief Executive Officer, will be appointed Executive Chairman of the Board as Howard Friedman, Chief Operations Officer of Post Holdings, will join the company, taking over his position. Additionally, Roger Deromedi, the current Chairman of the Board, will become the Lead Independent Director.
“I am honored to join Utz as CEO at this important time, and I see enormous potential to continue Utz’s exciting journey. I am confident that, with such a values-driven, passionate organization, and a portfolio of iconic snacks beloved by families across the United States, Utz is just getting started,” Friedman said. “I am eager to start this new chapter and work with Dylan, the Utz leadership team, and the Board to drive value, expand the company’s reach, and deliver growth as we produce world-class product innovation and the flagship snacks consumers have connected with for more than a century.”
Friedman has over 25 years of experience in the food and beverage sector, leading some iconic brands, including LUNCHABLES™ snacks, PHILADELPHIA™ cream cheese, KRAFT™ foods, and more.
Lissette joined Utz in 1995 and has served as CEO since 2013. During his tenure, he helped guide the company from a regional snack food brand to the third-largest branded salty snack platform in the country.
“I have had the honor and privilege to work for and to help lead this great company for nearly three decades. It has been immensely gratifying to see the success of our team over so many years, as Utz continues to achieve enhanced scale while never compromising the family-crafted quality and great flavors that our consumers expect. Our track record of success has been incredible, and I am truly excited to transition into the role of Executive Chairman and to welcome Howard to our team,” said Lissette. “I am thrilled we found such an excellent leader in Howard to help take Utz to even greater heights. Howard brings extensive experience increasing market share and unlocking growth potential, with a focus on building innovative brands and strategic business development. The Board and I are confident that he will help lead Utz to tremendous success as we grow our presence across geographies, salty snack sub-categories, and channels. I look forward to stepping into my new strategic role working with Howard, our management team, and our Board to help ensure the continuity of Utz’s heritage, culture, and forward growth momentum.”
Lissette will transition to the role of Non-Executive Chairman of the Board in the second quarter of 2023.
Deromedi also commented on this transition.
“We are pleased to welcome Howard as our next CEO after a thorough search and succession planning process. Howard is an exceptionally strong leader with the skills, experience, and perspective to execute our strategy and lead Utz to succeed well into the future,” he added. “We are also fortunate to have Dylan as an integral member of the Board, building on both his legacy of successful leadership at Utz, as well as the Rice and Lissette’s continuing and significant ownership stake in the Company.”
Michael Rice, Utz Chairman Emeritus and previous Utz CEO of more than 30 years, shared as well.
“Utz has been blessed with talented associates every step of the way on our journey to becoming one of the largest salty snack companies in the country. With the foundation that Dylan and the team have built, and now under Howard’s leadership, I feel we have tremendous continued growth potential,” he said. “The Utz team continues to strengthen our nationwide capabilities, and our associates always amaze me with their passion for creating the best snack foods in the industry. With Dylan as the Chairman of the Board and Howard leading the business, I anticipate continued success long into the future.”
To read more about this transition, click here.
What will this leadership change mean for Utz’s growth? Keep reading Deli Market News for updates.