November 6/Kansas City, Mo./PRNewswire-FirstCall -- American Italian Pasta Company (AIPC) announced that Jack Kelly, a 30--year food industry executive who has led several private companies including San Antonio Farms and Fiorucci Foods and held senior positions at Haagen-Dazs and Kraft Foods, has been named chief operating officer.

Kelly will become AIPC's new president and chief executive officer after the company completes the final phase of its previously announced restatement of certain historical financial statements. He will succeed Jim Fogarty, a managing director with Alvarez & Marsal who has served as the company's president and CEO since September 2005.

"American Italian Pasta Company has made tremendous strides over the past two years under Jim Fogarty's leadership along with the support of our customers and, most importantly, the tireless efforts of our dedicated employees," said Bill Patterson, cChairman of the board of directors.

"The company has significantly strengthened operations, increased revenue and volume, reduced net debt and executed a strategic business plan that has provided a positive direction and strong foundation for the future," said Jim Fogarty, AIPC CEO. "While challenges remain, including the price pressures in the durum wheat market, AIPC has made great strides, and is looking ahead with excitement and anticipation," he added.

The AIPC board of directors conducted a comprehensive national search for a new leader. "Jack is an established leader with an impressive background in the food industry, including the private label, branded, ingredient and foodservice segments," added Patterson. "He has a proven track record of growing revenues, driving value and improving operations at both entrepreneurial organizations as well as large companies. As AIPC prepares to move beyond the restatement process and issues of the past, Jack is well equipped to continue to build on our progress."

"On behalf of the board, we are pleased with the recent announcement of our shareholder settlement and the addition of Jack, as both events are important steps forward for AIPC," added Patterson. "I appreciate the dedication of each member of the board in guiding the company through this difficult period and putting it on a solid foundation as we move forward."

"I am delighted by the opportunity to lead AIPC into its next phase," said Kelly. "AIPC has earned a reputation among its customers for exceptional quality and service and is now solidly positioned, operationally and financially. I am looking forward to working with this talented management team and employees throughout the company to build on the company's strengths in all channels, including private label, branded, ingredient and food service products, and continue to deliver innovative offerings that are in line with consumer demands and drive value for our customers."

Kelly has served in senior positions at Haagen-Dazs Company Inc., Kraft Foods Inc. and Oscar Mayer Foods Corporation. Kelly was the chief executive officer of Fiorucci Foods Inc., a privately held subsidiary of Cesare Fiorucci SPA, the largest processed meats company in Italy. Kelly also served as president and CEO of San Antonio Farms, a maker of Mexican sauces for private label and foodservice customers that was acquired by TreeHouse Foods in 2007. During his nearly five-year tenure, he developed and successfully executed a strategic plan that increased store brand sales, expanded the company's products in club, foodservice and mass channels and improved overall operations. He is a graduate of St. Joseph's University.

From the November 19, 2007, Prepared Foods e-Flash