HAYWARD, Calif. – Timothy Fallon, president and CEO of Columbus Foods, plans to retire at the end of 2015. The company has appointed Joe Ennen, former senior vice president in charge of Safeway’s exclusive brand portfolio, president, and he will assume company leadership upon Fallon’s retirement. Meanwhile, Michael Fox joins as senior vice president of marketing and innovation – a newly created position.
Endeavour Capital, which purchased Columbus Foods in 2006, brought Fallon in to enact a turnaround. This was his first foray into the meat business. Two years later, Fallon executed the sale of Columbus from private-equity firm Endeavour Capital to Arbor Investments, which owns the company today. (For more information on Fallon, Columbus and the dry-cured meat segment, read MEAT+POULTRY’s upcoming March issue.)
Ennen will lead sales, marketing and human resources. Ennen brings more than 20 years of food industry and consumer packaged goods experience to Columbus. He was previously group vice president at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, where he led innovation as well as brand marketing. He also managed the Healthy Choice business as vice president / general manager for ConAgra, and spent close to a decade with the Kellogg Company in the US and the UK.
Fox spent almost 10 years at PepsiCo, where he led some of that company’s flagship snack brands: Stacy’s, Doritos and Cheetos; and built a strong track record of developing innovative brand experiences and new products. He was also a vice president at Safeway, where he was instrumental in the acceleration of its on-trend health-and-wellness brands: O Organics, Open Nature and Eating Right.
“With a rich, authentic history, an amazing line of products and a commitment to clean ingredients, Columbus is poised for growth,” Fallon said. “Ennen and Fox bring a proven track record of innovation and drive that we expect to significantly accelerate our pace of expansion.”
Expanding Columbus’ executive team follows the company’s effort to remove nitrates and nitrites, reduce sodium levels and utilize antibiotic-free meats in its line of salami and deli-meat products. “There’s so much potential to broaden our ‘better-for-you’ offerings, which already account for 20 percent of our sales,” Ennen concluded.