Bradley K. Alexander, Flowers Foods’ chief operating officer, will retire from the company at the end of the year, after 41 years of service. On January 1, 2023, Heeth Varnedoe, the company’s current chief transformation officer, will succeed Alexander as COO.
Varnedoe joined Flowers Foods in 1990, holding a number of management positions, including president of the company’s bakery in Jacksonville, Florida. He left Flowers in 2000 to pursue other business interests and rejoined in 2012 as director of DSD cake sales, then served as vice president of national accounts from 2012 to 2015. In 2016, he was promoted to president of the company’s Phoenix, Arizona bakery and served as senior vice president of DSD Regions/Sales from 2017 to 2020, when he was named to his current role. Varnedoe holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and history from Presbyterian College.
“His many contributions to the sales, operations and marketing functions of Flowers have been instrumental to many of our company’s successes and we have benefitted greatly from his extensive knowledge of the industry and steadfast leadership. We wish him the very best in his retirement,” said A. Ryals McMullian, president and chief operating officer.
Headquartered in Thomasville, Ga., Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the United States with 2021 sales of USD 4.3 billion. Flowers operates bakeries across the country that produce a wide range of bakery products. Among the company’s top brands are Nature’s Own, Dave’s Killer Bread, Wonder, Canyon Bakehouse, and Tastykake.
Flowers Foods also recently announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Better Plants program recently recognized Flowers Baking Co. of Batesville with a Better Practice Award for its energy efficiency projects, which have reduced annual energy use by more 13,000 MMBtu – the equivalent of nearly 250 homes per year.
In partnership with local utility providers, the bakery leveraged tiered incentives to enable energy-saving practices during capital projects. From 2016 to 2021, the bakery implemented 13 efficiency projects including boiler, compressed air, and LED lighting upgrades, waste heat recovery, and variable-frequency drives for exhaust fans, among other projects.
Photo: Nature’s Own Facebook (Flowers Foods)