Hain Celestial owns brands such as Celestial Seasonings, Linda McCartney Foods and Terra Chips.
Hain Celestial has announced that Irwin Simon will step down as CEO, 25 years after founding the US-headquartered organic food company.
After a new chief executive is found, Simon will become non-executive chairman of the company as part of a transition period.
The announcement comes amid mounting pressure from activist investor Engaged Capital, which bought a stake in the company last year.
Hain Celestial – which owns brands such as Linda McCartney Foods, Tilda rice and Terra Chips – announced earlier this year that it is searching for a buyer for its Hain Pure Protein unit, which it expects to sell in the first half of 2019.
Irwin Simon said: “When I founded the company 25 years ago, one of my goals was to educate and change the way the world eats and lives through a relentless focus on providing organic, natural and better-for-you products to consumers. I am incredibly proud of the company we have built. It has been a privilege to lead our dedicated team and drive our mission forward.”
He continued: “Hain Celestial has been a visionary in the organic and natural products industry, and we are still leading the way. This is an exciting time of business transformation for us as we build upon our considerable achievements and advance our strategic growth and cost savings objectives via Project Terra to create shareholder value.
“I firmly believe that some of our greatest opportunities lie ahead, and I am confident now is the right time for our next generation of leadership. I look forward to working with the board of directors in its search for the next chief executive officer as we seek to capitalise on our enviable position as a leader in organic, natural and better-for-you products.”
Hain Celestial lead director Andrew Heyer said: “The board of directors is committed to conducting a thorough and comprehensive search to identify the best person to serve as the company’s next president and chief executive officer.
“In addition, the working group previously established by our board of directors to consider strategic alternatives for the company, continues to aggressively evaluate its portfolio of businesses, brands and operating strategy to further enhance shareholder value.”
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