Less than a week after the sale of Earthbound Farm to an organic dairy company was finalized, the new owners named a former dairy industry executive as president for the organic produce company.
Effective immediately, Kevin Yost is president of the San Juan Batista, Calif.-based Earthbound Farm, according to a news release.
Charlie Sweat, previously Earthbound’s chief executive officer, is now in an advisory role “to ensure a smooth transition” as Earthbound Farm continues operations under the ownership of WhiteWave Foods Co., according to the Jan. 6 release.
“The rest of the Earthbound Farm management team will continue to serve in their current roles,” according to the release.
Denver-based WhiteWave, led by chairman and chief executive officer Gregg Engles, finalized its $600 million purchase of Earthbound on Jan. 2.
On Dec. 9, Engles said Earthbound would be maintained as a separate business entity with its headquarters and administrative staff to remain in San Juan Batista after the sale.
Both Engles and Sweat said in December that no operational changes were anticipated at Earthbound in the wake of the sale.
As new president, Yost “will have full operational responsibility for the Earthbound Farm business,” according to the WhiteWave news release. Yost reports directly to Engles.
Yost was previously president and chief operating officer of the U.S. dairy foods division of Saputo Inc., Montreal. He resigned that post late last year, according to a Dec. 2 news release on the Saputo website. Prior to his work with Saputo, Yost worked for Dean Foods’ Morningstar division, ConAgra Foods and Swift and Co., according to the WhiteWave release.
With Whitewave’s acquisition of Earthbound Farm, the position of chief executive officer at Earthbound was eliminated, said Samantha Cabaluna, vice president of marketing and communications.
Sweat had served as CEO for more than 15 years, according to the WhiteWave release. During his time at Earthbound Farm, the company’s organic salad market share increased to 50% and its organic sales grew from $10 million to more than $500 annually.
Sweat is joining the board of directors of the non-profit entity Global Green USA, Santa Monica, Calif. The organization is the American affiliate of Green Cross International, which was founded by Mikhail Gorbachev to foster a global value shift toward sustainability and security, according to its website.