Central Garden & Pet Company names new CEO

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Central Garden & Pet Company has named John R. Ranelli as its new president and CEO, effective February 11.

Central Garden & Pet is a leading supplier of branded products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets. Ranelli has been a member of its board and a member of the board’s audit committee since 2010. He will remain on Central’s board and current chairman and CEO Bill Brown will remain chairman.

“Over the last two years, John has become a leader on our board and a trusted partner. His close to 40 years of experience in building consumer products companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded consumer products company,” said Brown. “While we have considerable work yet to do, Central is a different company today than it was a year ago. We are transforming Central from what was essentially a collection of more than 20 operating companies into an integrated organization. We are focused on building our brands and introducing innovative new products to the marketplace. We are eliminating redundant costs and pursuing a plan to achieve significant savings over the next few years. As we begin the next phase of our transformation, John Ranelli is the right person to build on this progress and to drive the company forward so that it can meet the expectations of our customers and shareholders.”

Ranelli has extensive experience in leading mid- to large-size consumer products companies, driving shareholder value through transformation initiatives and revenue and profitability growth. He has served as CEO of Mikasa Inc., a global dinnerware, crystal and home accessories company, of FGX International (FosterGrant), a global optical company and, most recently, of Woolrich Inc., an outdoor clothing company. He has served as an advisor to companies and private equity firms since leaving Mikasa Inc. when it was sold in 2008. Previously, he served in senior executive capacities with the Timberland Company, Stride Rite Corporation, Deckers Outdoor Corporation and TLC Beatrice. He has served on the boards of GNC, Deckers Outdoor Corp, Party City and Woolrich. Mr. Ranelli will continue to serve on the Woolrich board as non-executive chairman.

“We have a great opportunity to build our brands by continuing to invest in marketing and new product innovation. I am confident that as we strengthen our customer relationships, develop stronger ties with the consumer and continue to improve our execution, we will deliver the sustainable, profitable growth that we expect of our company and create meaningful value for our shareholders. I look forward to working with the Central team to achieve these goals.”