Lutz has more than 25 years of food-industry management experience. Prior to joining Nellson, he was president and chief operating officer for the foodservice division of ConAgra Foods, where he had responsibility for the unit's $3.6 billion portfolio of branded and customized food products.
"Allan's appointment as a director further strengthens the board's experience in the food industry, and his operational experience and proven leadership ability make him an excellent choice to lead the company now," said Scott Meader, chairman of the board of directors for Nellson. "The demand for nutritional products continues to grow, and Allan's insight and knowledge will be extremely valuable as we strengthen and expand Nellson's market position."
"I am very pleased to be joining Nellson Nutraceuticals," said Lutz. "The company has many competitive strengths, and I am looking forward to working with the executive team and my fellow board members to grow the business."
Lutz previously had led the foodservice business for ConAgra. Prior to joining ConAgra, Lutz was president of the foodservice unit of Nestle USA. In this role, he had responsibility for the entire foodservices business including the Nestle, Carnation and Stouffers brands. Lutz began his career with The Carnation Company in Boston. He is a graduate of Stonehill College in North Easton, Massachusetts.
Meader served as president and CEO of Milnot Holding Corporation, a $220 million food company, until its successful sale last year and has more than 20 years of experience in the food industry. Rovit served as chairman of the board of Atkins Nutritionals Inc. after its emergence from bankruptcy in January 2006. He currently is the CEO of Sure Fit Inc. a marketer and distributor of furniture covers and other home furnishings sold through retailers, internet companies and its own website and catalogue operations.
"Nellson is setting the stage for renewed growth," Meader continued. "The company has an excellent reputation for quality, customer service and experience in its markets. And with the completion of its financial restructuring last year, it has a solid financial position and a strong group of shareholders, led by Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Citigroup and GE Capital, who are committed to its success."
Lutz replaces Jeffrey B. Dias, who had served as chief executive officer of Nellson since January 2005. The board has retained Spencer Stuart, a nationally recognized executive-recruiting firm to lead the search for a permanent chief executive.
"On behalf of the board of directors and our entire organization, I'd like to thank Jeff for his tireless efforts and commitment to the company," Meader added. "We wish him every success in his future endeavors."
From the March 17, 2008, Prepared Foods e-Flash