Bradley K. Alexander

THOMASVILLE, GA. — Bradley K. Alexander, who joined Flowers Foods, Inc. 33 years ago, has been promoted to executive vice-president and chief operating officer of the company. Flowers said the change was one of three “in keeping with the company’s management succession plan.”

In addition to Mr. Alexander’s elevation, D. Keith Wheeler has been named president of Flowers Bakeries, the company’s direct-store delivery operating segment, and Thomas E. Wilson has been named vice-president of Flowers Bakeries’ West coast region.

Since joining the company in 1981, Mr. Alexander, 55, has held various positions in sales, operations and marketing, including bakery president and vice-president of sales and marketing. He was named regional vice-president for Flowers Bakeries in 2003 and promoted to president of Flowers Bakeries in 2008. In his new position, he will be responsible for company operations, including the D.S.D. and warehouse segments, as well as supply chain, marketing and product innovation.

As c.o.o., Mr. Alexander succeeds Gene D. Lord, 67. Mr. Lord will continue as executive vice-president, providing support for operations with a focus on the integration of assets acquired from Old HB, Inc. (formerly Hostess Brands).

Mr. Wheeler will succeed Mr. Alexander as president of Flowers Bakeries, the D.S.D.  business that accounts for 83% of all Flowers sales. Mr. Wheeler, 50, began his career with Flowers in 1988 and has experience that includes operational, accounting, and sales positions, including regional controller, vice-president of operations, director of strategic planning, and bakery president. Most recently, Mr. Wheeler was senior vice-president for the company’s West coast region.

“In his new role, Mr. Wheeler provides direction for Flowers Bakeries’ six D.S.D. sales regions,” Flowers said. “Collectively, these regions reach 79% of the U.S. population with the company's fresh breads, buns, rolls, and snack cakes.”

Mr. Wilson, who is 59, came to Flowers in 2008 when the company acquired Holsum Bakery in Arizona. His baking career began in 1979, and he has held leadership positions in sales and operations, including vice-president of sales and marketing and executive vice-president. Most recently he was a bakery president. In his new position as senior vice-president of Flowers’ West coast region, Mr. Wilson is succeeding Mr. Wheeler.

“These management changes position Flowers Foods for continued growth and are in line with our long-term leadership development strategy and management succession plan,” said Allen L. Shiver, president and chief executive officer of Flowers Foods. “The operational leaders we’ve announced today and those throughout our company remain focused on building value for our shareholders in the years ahead.”