Friday, December 19, 2008
Cincinnati, Ohio, December 19, 2008…Pierre Foods, Inc. (the “Company” or “Pierre”) today announced that it has appointed Dean Hollis and Margaret Cannella as new members of its Board of Directors. Mr. Hollis was formerly the President and Chief Operating Officer of ConAgra Foods Consumer Foods and International division. Ms. Cannella currently serves as the Global Head of Credit Research and U.S. Corporate Strategy at JPMorgan. The addition of Mr. Hollis and Ms. Cannella expands Pierre’s Board from three directors to five directors.
“Dean and Margaret are highly qualified directors who have proven their leadership in the food and financial industry, respectively,” said Bill Toler, Chief Executive Officer of Pierre. “The addition of two new directors to the Board is an important step for the Company as we continue to develop our growth strategies. We believe that Dean’s experience and track record operating the largest segment of the ConAgra Foods portfolio will greatly contribute to the long-term growth aspects of our strategic plan. Margaret’s experience in the financial markets as well as her tenure as a food industry analyst represent a resource that given our current economic environment, is invaluable to any Board of Directors.”
Mr. Toler continued, “Pierre is focused on maintaining an experienced and involved Board. The Company is determined to maintain its financial strength and continue the successful course of operation that is currently underway at Pierre.”
Mr. Hollis and Ms. Cannella will join CEO Bill Toler and Oaktree Capital Management directors, Steven Kaplan and Matthew Wilson effective immediately.
Dean Hollis, 48, was most recently President and Chief Operating Officer of ConAgra Foods Consumer Foods and International division. In that role, he oversaw the largest segment of the ConAgra Foods portfolio, including its leading consumer brands and customer branded businesses consisting of over 40 global brands in 110 countries. Prior to his role as President and COO, Mr. Hollis served in a variety of senior and executive level positions at the Company beginning in 1987. Before joining ConAgra Foods, Mr. Hollis was with the TreeSweet Companies, holding management positions in both Sales and Marketing. He began his career in the Consumer Products division of Georgia-Pacific.
Mr. Hollis is a 1982 graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, where he is on the Board of Directors and Chairs the Leadership and University Relations committee and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005. In addition, he serves on the Board of Trustees of the Mid-America Council Boy Scouts of America and Creighton Preparatory School.
Margaret Cannella, 56, currently serves as the Global Head of Credit Research and US Corporate Strategy at JPMorgan where she will be retiring from at the end of this month after more than 30 years in financial services. Over the past ten years, she has been head of Global Credit Research, US Equity Research and US Credit Research at JPMorgan as well as Global Coordinator for the firm's environmental research. For ten years prior to working for JPMorgan, Ms. Cannella was responsible for High Yield and High Grade Credit Research at Citigroup, where she also spent three years in a Leveraged Finance Group. At both institutions, she covered the retailing, supermarket, food and beverage sectors as a sell-side analyst.
Margaret is Chairman of the Board of the Princeton-in-Asia Foundation, serves on the Advisory Board of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and Chairs the Women in Leadership Council at Princeton University.
Ms. Cannella graduated from Princeton University with a degree in East Asian Studies and from Columbia University Graduate School of Business with an MBA. Starting in January, 2009, she will be teaching a course in the Finance department at Columbia entitled Private Equity: Leveraged Buy-Outs and the Credit Markets.
Pierre has enjoyed a dynamic history dating back over 60 years to 1946. The Company’s foundation is built on its committed employees, key customer relationships, trust, and providing the best products available. Today Pierre Foods is a leading manufacturer, marketer and distributor of high-quality, differentiated food solutions, focusing on pre-cooked and ready-to-cook protein products, compartmentalized meals, and hand-held convenience sandwiches. Pierre is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and is controlled by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.