Richard C. Seban, a veteran executive in the consumer packaged goods field, with 30 years experience in sales, marketing and new product development, has been named chief marketing officer at Interstate Bakeries Corporation (IBC). The appointment comes when IBC reports it is reinvigorating product development and reenergizing sales and marketing by placing a premium on speed, focus and innovation.
Most recently, Seban was president and chief operating officer of High Liner Foods Inc., a Nova Scotia-based processor and marketer of superior frozen seafood and pasta products. From 1983 to 1995, he held several positions at Sara Lee Bakery, including serving as vice president of customer marketing.
From 1995 to 2000, Seban was vice president of consumer products at Rich Seapak Corporation, where he managed sales, marketing and customer service functions for the company's warehouse clubs and consumer products divisions. Earlier in his career, he held positions at the Campbell Soup Company and Henri's Food Products.
Jacques Roizen, a director with Alvarez & Marsal who has been serving as interim chief marketing officer at IBC, will move into the position of executive vice president of marketing.
"Rich Seban has an excellent sales and marketing background, a superb reputation and strong relationships in the retail and wholesale trade," said Tony Alvarez, chief executive officer of IBC. "IBC's future depends on building a strong marketing platform that ensures that our products resonate in the marketplace, with both retailers and consumers alike. Rich's depth of experience will enable us to continue to build a solid platform for long-term growth and success."
While at High Liner Foods, Seban, who had full responsibility for the U.S. division, led the company into new strategic business channels and successfully launched major new products. At Sara Lee, he had a significant impact -- restaging the core product line, creating and executing a new advertising campaign, introducing new products and re-engineering the sales, pricing and promotion systems.
IBC recently has been embarking on a major effort to optimize its powerful brands and reconnect the company with market trends, executing a number of significant marketing, sales and development initiatives over the past seven months alone.
In July, IBC re-launched its iconic Wonder brand. The company introduced Wonder White Bread Fans 100% Whole Grain, claimed to be the first bread designed specifically for people who love the taste and texture of white bread. IBC also rolled out Wonder Kids, an enriched white bread, and re-launched existing Wonder SKUs under, Wonder Classic and Wonder Classic Sandwich.
In addition, the company mounted a national television and magazine advertising campaign to capitalize and build on the success of Baker's Inn, its brand of super-premium bread. With outstanding consumer feedback and strong sales, Baker's Inn was named a top 10 "brand to watch" by Information Resources and the best new product of the year at FMI in 2004.