Kronos Foods Inc. announced two key executive appointments. Effective immediately, interim chief executive officer Michael B. Austin has been named chief executive officer, and brand-building veteran Alan S. Willner has assumed the newly created position of senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
Austin, who became Interim CEO in August, has more than 25 years of senior management specialty food and foodservice experience, most recently as CEO of Gourmand Specialty Foods Inc., an importer, distributor and producer of high-end specialty foods. Austin previously served in executive roles at specialty food supplier Atlanta Foods International Inc. and at leading food distributors U.S. Foodservice and SYSCO Corporation.
"Kronos already enjoys a strong brand image, even outside the markets we have traditionally served," says Austin. "We are committed to building and extending upon our heritage through new products, new product lines, extensions of existing product lines and programs that our customers find even more effective and desirable. For food operators, we are equally as committed to adding value at the store level to help them drive more business."
Continued Austin, "We feel there is no one better suited to lead the development and marketing of these initiatives than Alan Willner. Alan offers strategic vision, brand-portfolio building success and a high-performance and customer-centric track record. A well-rounded and well-respected leader, he adds great strength to an already talented team here at Kronos. We are all very excited about what the future holds."
Willner is a marketing and sales executive with “classical marketing experience.” Previously, he was vice president of marketing at Pabst Brewing Company, where he was responsible for the growth of the beer marketer's 25-product portfolio. Before that, he was vice president, customer and brand marketing for Diageo Beverages, where he led all facets of brand, trade and customer marketing for the Guinness United Distiller and Vintner brands. Willner also has held marketing management roles at Spectra Marketing Systems Inc., Coors Brewing Company and Nabisco Biscuit Company.
Willner joins Kronos's senior management team, which includes T. Patrick Costello, president and chief operating officer; Peggy Schreiber, senior vice president of sales; and Janet Caldwell, vice president and chief financial officer.