MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CJ CheilJedang (CJCJ) CEO Sinho Kang today announced that Dimitrios Smyrnios, CEO of Schwan’s Company, will now serve as executive chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas. As the executive chairman of CJCJ Food, Americas, Smyrnios will hold the role of chairman of the board of CJ Foods USA Inc and will continue in his leadership role as CEO of Schwan’s. CJCJ acquired Schwan’s and several of its subsidiaries in February 2019.
In his new leadership role, Smyrnios will provide strategic and operational oversight of CJCJ’s food businesses in the Americas, including U.S.-based affiliates Schwan’s Company and CJ Foods USA. Together, Schwan’s and CJ Foods are driving pizza, Asian food and desserts category growth for customers across the retail and food service marketplace.
“On behalf of everyone at CJCJ, we are excited to have Dimitrios chart the course for our strategic innovation and growth plans in the United States and across the Americas,” said Kang. “With a strong foundation of talented people, diverse capabilities and high-quality brands and foods in the Americas, CJCJ is poised to achieve our ambitious growth goals under his trusted and experienced leadership.”
“Since Schwan’s joined the global CJ family last year, I have been extremely impressed with the company and its commitment to the U.S. business and our people. I am truly proud to be a part of such a world-class company,” said Smyrnios. “I am also honored and excited to take on this important leadership role for CJCJ as it invests in its Americas-based people, operations, brands and products to better serve our customers and grow our business.”
Aligning Schwan’s and CJ Foods USA
In his role leading CJ CheilJedang’s food businesses in the Americas, Smyrnios will focus on aligning the people and operations of Schwan’s (based in Minnesota) and CJ Foods USA (based in California) to better serve its retail and foodservice customers and advance CJCJ’s global growth objectives. This work includes oversight of producing and marketing high-quality foods for consumers, delivering best-in-class customer service, bringing innovation to the marketplace, investing in the companies’ brands and operations, and enabling growth opportunities for employees.
Smyrnios, who joined Schwan’s Company as CEO in 2013, leads the Schwan’s Company’s management team and holds overall responsibility for the performance of its business units and brands. As a CJCJ affiliate, Schwan’s and its subsidiaries serve grocery and retail customers and foodservice operators across North America. Schwan’s Consumer Brands, Inc. is responsible for the distribution of many popular retail brands in the frozen category, including Red Baron®, Freschetta® and Tony’s® pizza, Bibigo®, Pagoda®, Annie Chun’s® and Kahiki® Asian foods, and Mrs. Smith’s® and Edwards® desserts. Schwan’s Food Service, Inc. is a leading marketer of value-added foods to public and private schools, universities, health-care facilities, convenience stores and chain restaurants.
Fellow CJCJ affiliate CJ Foods USA offers a full range of consumer packaged foods available at retail, including dumplings, noodles, ready meals, ready to serve rice, wrappers, sauces and other authentic Asian foods sold under the Bibigo®, Annie Chun’s® and Twin Marquis® brands.
Collectively, Schwan’s and CJ Foods USA operate 21 U.S.-based manufacturing plants, with Schwan’s operating 16 and CJ Foods USA operating five.
“As CJCJ’s family of food businesses in the Americas grow closer, I’m confident that together we will play a big role in shaping the CJCJ global growth trajectory,” said Smyrnios. “I also want to thank every Schwan’s and CJ Foods USA employee for embracing the important role we play in making sure people have access to food during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
About CJ CheilJedang
CJ CheilJedang is the core subsidiary in charge of the food and bioengineering business sectors of the CJ Group. It has led the development of the Korean food industry for the past 60 years and contributed to the development of the bioengineering industry as the nation’s top food company. Launched in 1953 as a food ingredient company, CJ CheilJedang has expanded its business to processed foods. CJ CheilJedang has achieved outstanding growth, quantitatively and qualitatively, in food processing and food ingredients in the food business sector, as well as the bio in the bioengineering business sector. We are striving to go beyond being the No. 1 in Korea to becoming a global leader in each business sector. CJ CheilJedang will continue to grow and evolve in the food & bio sectors by practicing the spirit of OnlyOne and develop into a global lifestyle company.