Evans retired as CEO on April 29, 2000, and as chairman of the board on April 27, 2001, after serving in those roles for 29 and 30 years, respectively. He had continued to serve on the Bob Evans Farms Inc. Board of Directors until his retirement in August 2006.
Dan Evans is credited with much of the company’s success and growth. During his tenure as chairman and CEO, the company reached $1 billion in annual sales and the Bob Evans Restaurant footprint vastly expanded from four restaurants in Ohio to 450 restaurants in 20 states. He also oversaw expansion of the company’s retail sausage market from six states to 30 states.
He began his 50-year career with Bob Evans Farms in 1956, working at the company’s sausage production plant in Xenia, Ohio. In 1959, Evans became manager of the company’s sausage-production plant in Bidwell, Ohio. Five years later, he moved to the corporate headquarters, then located in Gallipolis, Ohio, as executive vice president. He was elected to chairman of the board and CEO in 1971 at the age of 35. Evans succeeded his father, Emerson Evans, the company’s founding board chairman and CEO.
“Dan loved the brand and the business,” said Steven Davis, Bob Evans Farms Inc. chairman and CEO. “He helped build Bob Evans Farms into a thriving company and a household name. He leaves a tremendous legacy, which we are honored to continue each day.”