PORTLAND, Maine – David Barber will become president and CEO of Barber Foods, effective Feb. 11. He succeeds Bruce Wagner joined Barber Foods in November of 2007 to help the company operate during a challenging period coined as the "great recession."

Wagner’s eventual departure was envisioned when the company first contracted with his company, Traverse CEO LLC. He said he is delighted to see leadership restored to the Barber family and congratulates David Barber on his new role.

Barber has worked at Barber Foods since graduating from Babson College in 1981. During his career with Barber Foods, he has been intimately involved in all aspects of the business. Most recently, he was executive vice president.

"Bruce led us through an extremely challenging business environment," Barber said. "He implemented several processes that both enabled us to have positive financials during the recession and improve our safety, quality and service foundational pillars. Everyone at Barber Foods deeply appreciates Bruce’s efforts and we all wish him continued success with his Traverse CEO management business."

Under Wagner’s leadership, Barber Foods made tremendous strides and launched several notable initiatives:

  • Advancing Barber Foods’ brand identity due, in large part, to the company’s first television media campaign.
  • Establishing industry-leading food-safety systems that earned Barber Foods a best-in-class Safe Quality Food rating of 99.7%.
  • Implementing a robust new product development stage gate process that has loaded the new product funnel with higher-value entrées and appetizers.
  • Keeping associate well-being foremost through all the changes and significantly reducing lost work days toward our zero lost days goal.

During the next two months, Wagner and Barber will work together to transition leadership of the organization.

Founded in 1955, Barber Foods is a family business focused on developing entrées and is the premier maker of Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Barber Foods Stuffed Chicken Breasts and other frozen prepared chicken specialties are distributed throughout the US and selected international locations to the grocery, warehouse club and foodservice establishments.