Since its founding, Ready Pac has striven to lead innovation in the fresh-cut foods industry, but by 2007, the business reality did not match the company’s 45-year legacy. Behind the curtain, the company was shrinking. Even after partnering with private equity firm Bayside Capital to infuse capital into the enterprise, the company experienced six years of declining growth and negative EBITDA. The timing to execute a turnaround was imminent.
In the fall of 2013, Tony Sarsam was appointed CEO to reinvent Ready Pac Foods. His aim: transform and grow Ready Pac into a sophisticated CPG leader in the fast-growing, $26 billion fresh foods market. Building on a 20-year career in executive leadership with Nestlé and PepsiCo, Tony knew from experience that one of the most important strategic elements of a broad-scale change initiative would be building a world-class leadership team.
Tony identified the immediate need to recruit a team of executive change agents across all disciplines of the business, including:
– Chief Human Resources Officer
– Chief Financial Officer
– Chief Supply Chain Officer
– Chief General Counsel
– VP, Corporate Controller
– VP, Continuous Improvement
– VP, Procurement
– VP, Transportation & Warehousing
– VP, Engineering & Maintenance
– VP, Environmental, Health, & Safety
With the perspective that we were building a holistic team — not filling positions — we put intense focus on ensuring the new leaders would work synergistically to realize change.
With its new executive team and change agents in place, Ready Pac completed a remarkable business transformation and was acquired by Bonduelle, the world leader in ready-to-use vegetables, in March 2017. The deal, worth $409 million, benefits Ready Pac through increased investment and extended geographic reach, helping drive its vision for continued growth.
Compared with a declining top
line of -6% over the preceding
six years. The new leaders have
also expanded Ready Pac’s profit
margin by 500 basis points.
Operating cost reduction
over 18 months
Company injuries also decreased
by 50% over 18 months. The
chief supply chain officer was
instrumental in leading and
driving these improvements.
Rehired for multiple
Acertitude became the exclusive
executive search partner to
Ready Pac. We believe client
loyalty is a true testament to the
value we provide.
Finding and empowering the right talent has propelled Ready Pac’s extraordinary transformation.Tony Sarsam, Chief Executive Officer, Ready Pac Foods