EDMONTON, Canada — Champion Petfoods, maker of ORIJEN and ACANA brands, announced July 25 that its board of directors has selected Blaine McPeak as incoming chief executive officer. The board also appointed Greg Christenson to the previously vacant role of chief financial officer. John Frierott, who had been serving as interim CEO of Champion, will resume his role as chief operating officer.
“During our search for a new CEO, there were several world-class executives interested in becoming CEO of Champion,” said Jim Walker, chairman of Champion’s board of directors. “What stood out about Blaine was his background as the architect behind building successful high-growth businesses and industry leading brands that appeal to health-conscious consumers.”
McPeak has held various leadership positions with food industry companies over the past 25 years. Most recently, he served as COO of The WhiteWave Foods Company, where he grew the Silk brand of plant-based foods and beverages, as well as the company’s Horizon Organic dairy brand, to leading positions in their product categories. McPeak worked at Kellogg for 13 years, during which time he led several divisions and served as the Kashi Company’s first leader, prior to joining WhiteWave.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Champion Petfoods into its next phase of growth in the vibrant pet foods industry and to work with a team so committed to advancing pet health,” McPeak said. “There’s so much runway for the business to leverage its award-winning kitchens, world-class research and innovation center, and high-quality foods developed with the Biologically Appropriate principles.”
Christenson also brings extensive brand-building experience to the table. He previously served as executive VP and CFO of Amplify Snack Brands. Prior to Amplify, he served as CFO of WhiteWave, where he worked with McPeak, as well as CFO and VP of Oberto Brands. Christenson also held various leadership positions during his 14 years with Kraft Foods.
“I look forward to reuniting with Blaine and drawing on our successful working relationship,” Christenson said. “I’m excited to work with the entire Champion team to untap the full potential of the business.”
Champion Petfoods began its search for a new CEO at the beginning of 2019 when its previous leader, Frank Burdzy, left the company.
Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.