FAIRFIELD, CALIF. — Primal Pet Group, parent company of Primal Pet Foods, Prairie Dog Pet Products and Himalayan Pet Supply brands, announced two new leadership appointments, effective April 1.
Jon M. Balousek has been appointed to chief executive officer of Primal Pet Foods. He has extensive experience in leading consumer product brands, aiding in brand development and profitable growth throughout highly competitive product categories. Most recently, Balousek led corporate development for Central Garden & Pet, providing him with knowledge on the pet care industry. Prior to Central Garden & Pet, he spent most of his career at The Clorox Company, during which Balousek drove sales growth and profit for five of the company’s business segments, as well as oversaw 3,000 employees and 13 manufacturing facilities.
“Throughout Jon’s career managing industry-leading consumer goods brands, he has always been passionate about putting the consumer first in everything a brand does,” said Tom Tuttle, managing director with Kinderhook, a private investment firm that acquired Primal Pet Group in 2021. “From cat litter and salad dressing to cleaning products, Jon has successfully accelerated growth for numerous brands by winning with their consumers — and I’m confident he can do the same for our portfolio of pet care brands.”
Balousek will leverage his experience in strategy and execution, brand management, employee engagement, and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) to lead Primal’s pet care brands as it seeks further growth. Working with Matt Pirz, president of Primal Pet Foods, Matt Koss, founder of Primal Pet Foods, and Suman Shrestha, founder of Himalayan Pet Supply, Balousek will direct the company’s vision and strategy and will be responsible for the entire business and all key functions.
“The strength of any business starts with a great product and a strong consumer following — and that’s why Primal and Himalayan have been so successful,” Balousek said. “I’m humbled to be joining the team that has put their heart and soul into building these great brands. By tapping into this strong foundation, I am confident we can work together to continue to build this business by focusing on the needs of our consumers — and their pets.”
Alongside Balousek’s appointment, Primal Pet Group also announced that Steve Hill has been named executive chair of its board. Hill has prior experience working with Kinderhook, serving as portfolio chief executive officer and board member. He also has experience providing business guidance and counsel to leaders of high-growth consumer goods companies.
Hill will collaborate with Balousek to establish Primal Pet Group’s strategy and corporate governance. Tuttle will remain on Primal Pet Group’s board as lead director.
“With a stable operational footprint and a skilled people leader like Jon at the helm, there’s no question that this business is poised for significant growth,” Hill said.
Read more about personnel changes throughout the industry.