Post Holdings CFO Robert Vitale to move into CEO role on November 1

- Last updated on GMT

Post has been aggresively re-shaping its portfolio since it was spun off from Ralcorp
Post has been aggresively re-shaping its portfolio since it was spun off from Ralcorp

Related tags: Chief financial officer, Cereal

St Louis-based Post Holdings - the company behind Grape-Nuts, Honey Bunches of Oats and PowerBar protein bars - has promoted chief financial officer Robert Vitale to the role of chief executive, replacing Bill Stiritz, who will take up the newly-created position of executive chairman.

Vitale - who has been CFO since Post split from Ralcorp and begins his new role on November 1 - will be replaced by Jeff A. Zadoks.

President and COO Terence E. Block is to retire.

The move is part of a broader reorganization of Post that will split the business into three areas:

  • Consumer brands (cereals and active nutrition - to be run by James Holbrook);
  • Michael Foods (egg, cheese, potato products, pasta - to be run by James Dwyer Jr);
  • Private-label (Attune Foods and Golden Boy Foods - reporting directly to Vitale).

Post has been on the acquisition trail since it was spun off from Ralcorp in 2012, vacuuming up a series of brands and businesses including PowerBar​ and Musashi​; American Blanching Company​ (peanut butter); Golden Boy Foods​ (nut butters, dried fruits, snacking nuts); Dymatize Enterprises​ (protein powders, bars, supplements; Michael Foods​ (eggs, potato, and dairy products); Dakota Growers Pasta Co​ (private label pasta), PNC​ (Joint Juice and Premier Protein); Hearthside Food Solutions​ (cereal and granola); and Attune Foods​ (natural and organic cereal).

Post reported a net loss of $39.3 million in the quarter ended June 30 on revenues of $633m. 

Acquisition challenges

Speaking to analysts on the Q3 earnings call, Block said: "Over the past 15 months, we have closed six acquisitions, transforming Post into a diverse consumer packaged goods holding company. We sought to counter the negative category trajectory in our core ready-to-eat cereal business, with acquisitions that compete in categories with better growth prospects driven by large secular themes."

But he added: "Rapidly building a diverse portfolio and transforming Post from $1 billion to a projected $4 billion in net sales brings challenges. During Q3, we experienced some acquisition-related challenges, as well as some of a legacy nature."

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