MGP Ingredients, a supplier of distilled spirits and specialty wheat proteins and starches, announced today that CEO Gus Griffin plans to retire from the company and its board at the annual meeting of stockholders on May 21, 2020.
The board has named David Colo, currently a director of MGP, as President and Chief Operating Officer effective March 16, until he assumes the role of CEO upon Griffin’s retirement in May.
Griffin became CEO in July 2014. Under his leadership, the Company developed and successfully implemented a new long-term strategic plan that produced improvements in the company’s financial results, MGP says in a press release, while also “establishing a strong foundation for future growth.” MGP has also expanded the distribution footprint of its house brands in recent time.
Griffin’s retirement timeline is consistent with the fixed term set out in his 2017 employment agreement, which permitted the board to plan for an orderly succession.
“I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished during my time at MGP,” Griffin says. “I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to lead such a talented, passionate and collaborative organization. I also appreciate the strong ongoing support of our Board. I’ve worked closely with Dave since he joined the Board and am confident he will be a terrific successor in leading MGP. I look forward to supporting Dave during his transition.”
Karen Seaberg, Chairman of the Board of MGP, expressed thanks for Griffin’s leadership. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, our employees, and MGP’s stakeholders, I express my gratitude to Gus for his success in leading the Company. Gus joined at a critical time in our history. He focused the entire organization on a clear strategy, led its successful implementation, and, very importantly, helped restore MGP’s special culture. We are well-positioned for the next chapter in our story. We sincerely thank Gus for his years of dedicated service to MGP and the lasting contributions he has made to the Company.”
“As we prepared for Gus’s planned retirement, the Board unanimously agreed that David was best suited to lead MGP,” Seaberg adds. “Our deliberate succession planning process has enabled us to ensure a seamless transition. The Board is confident that David’s leadership will positively impact our employees, customers and shareholders into the future.”
Colo has served on the MGP Board since 2015 and will remain a director of the Company. He has more than 30 years of leadership experience in general management, operations and supply chain management. Colo has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of SunOpta Inc. and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Diamond Foods, Inc.
Previously, Colo served in leadership roles in the consumer products division of Con-Agra Foods, Inc., and with Nestle-Purina Pet Care Company. Colo holds a Bachelor of Science, Agribusiness Economics, from Southern Illinois University.
“I am honored to take on this leadership role at this important time in MGP’s history,” says Colo. “I’m excited for the opportunity to lead this company forward and build on the momentum, culture, and solid operating results achieved during Gus’s tenure.”