ST. LOUIS — Compana Pet Brands announced Jan. 4 that it has appointed Greg Pearson to chief executive officer, succeeding John Howe, who will assume the role of senior advisor for Compana.

Following more than 20 years at Compana, Howe has decided to step down from his 15-year position as CEO. Under his leadership, Compana’s revenue grew eightfold through new production innovations, retail expansions, organic growth and several acquisitions. Howe also helped lead the company through its rebrand from Manna Pro Products to Compana in March 2022.

Howe will continue to support Compana, transitioning to the role of senior advisor and providing support to Pearson.

“On behalf of the board, I would like to thank John Howe for his unwavering commitment to Compana over the past 21 years,” said David Basto, managing director and partner at Carlyle and director on Compana’s board. “We wish him all the best as he embarks on this new chapter and look forward to continuing to work with him as a trusted advisor to the company.”

Prior to joining Compana, Pearson most recently served as chief executive officer of Pretzels, Inc., a private label and contract manufacturer of pretzel products in the United States. At Pretzels, he led various growth and operational strategies. During Pearson’s time at Pretzels, the company scaled its supply chain, opened a new manufacturing facility, invested in product development and launched new products. Pearson also led the company during its sale to The Hershey Company in 2021.

As well as experience in human food, Pearson also has experience in the pet industry. He spent three years at Chewy, establishing the company’s private brands and expanding its brand portfolio across pet food, treats, toys and accessories. He also served as the company’s head of marketing.

“We are thrilled to welcome Greg Pearson to the Compana team as CEO,” said Katy Dickson, director on Compana’s board. “Greg’s deep experience in consumer packaged goods and in the pet category specifically, including his exceptional track record in building great consumer brands and the operations that support them, will be invaluable as we continue to scale the business and capitalize on both organic and inorganic growth opportunities.”

Pearson has also worked for General Mills and Congra Brands, Inc.

“I am honored to serve as Compana’s new CEO and look forward to working closely with the board and the talented team at Compana to execute on its strategic plan and to build on the company’s strong momentum,” Pearson said. “With its growing portfolio of unique brands and reputation for products that consumers and their pets love and trust, Compana has significant opportunities to expand its retail footprint, to acquire new brands, and to strengthen our value proposition for partners and employees.”

Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.