January 30/Marketing Business Weekly -- The New England Confectionery Company Inc. announced the appointment of a new, strategic senior-level management team in an effort to energize its iconic brands and expand to an even broader base of candy lovers. The collaborative team has been assembled as part of a carefully planned transition to lead the 160-year-old confectioner to unprecedented innovation and brand marketing initiatives, starting with the evolution of the Sweethearts brand from "Marry Me" to "Bite Me!" According to the board of directors, current president and chief operating officer Richard S. Krause has been promoted to president and chief executive officer, and current chief executive officer Domenic M. Antonellis has been promoted to chairman of the board. In addition, the company announced the appointment of several key leaders who will spearhead the company in the areas of marketing, finance, product innovation and sales.

After Krause delivered favorable results as Antonellis' chief operating officer, the board decided Krause was ready to be promoted to chief executive officer.

"Rich is a world-class business leader with a proven track record for superior results," said a company statement. "Under his career leadership, he has led four major organizations through significant growth and repositioning by creating highly competitive management teams, driving robust operational initiatives and instilling an inspirational vision of excellence. Rich is highly qualified to lead our vision for the New England Confectionery Company by repositioning existing brands with innovative products and packaging, significantly expanded points of distribution, and increased relevance to consumers."

"Rich will do an outstanding job managing the company's day-to-day operations and I look forward to working with him on setting strategy and vision going forward," commented Antonellis. "Along with the rest of the new team, Rich is introducing exciting ideas into the brands of the New England Confectionery Company that I expect will impress our customers."

"It is not an understatement to say Dom has earned admiration and respect as an icon throughout the confectionery industry," said the statement. "Over the past 30 years, Dom has dramatically improved the company through key acquisitions as well as building a state-of-the-art facility that is North America's largest candy manufacturing plant. Dom will continue to serve as an important resource to the senior management team as we move forward."

From the February 2, 2009, Prepared Foods E-dition