KANSAS CITY — Three days into the job, Andrew P. Callahan, newly installed president and chief executive officer of Hostess Brands, Inc., offered up three reasons why he was willing to leave Tysons Foods, Inc. to take over the top spot at the Kansas City-based baking company.
“The team, the brand and the growth potential this company has,” Mr. Callahan said on May 10 during a conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter results.
“The team has accomplished so much in such a short period of time, as everybody has witnessed,” he said. “And as Dean (Metropoulos, chairman of Hostess) mentioned, the team is hungry, they’re action-oriented, and they’re talented. Unlocking the potential of the business starts with unlocking the potential of the team, and I’m honored and humbled to be leading such a talented group.
“Additionally, they share a passion for the Hostess brands on par with our consumers and customers, and that’s really saying something — that Hostess Brands is something special. The emotional connection of our brand with our consumers is strong and is a great place and platform to grow from.
“And finally, the potential to grow and create value has multiple paths, and we have many assets to unlock this growth. And I’m going to be working really closely with the team to sharpen and realize this growth and this value potential. So Hostess is just getting started, and I’m really honored to be part of it.”
Mr. Callahan was named president and c.e.o. a little less than a month ago, and officially took the reins on May 7, replacing Mr. Metropoulos, who had been serving as interim president and c.e.o. since March 31. The company’s former president and c.e.o., William D. Toler, retired at the end of March.
Mr. Callahan most recently was president of North American Foodservice and International at Tyson Foods, Inc. and earlier was president of Retail Packaged Brands at Tyson. Prior to that, he was president of retail for Hillshire Brands. While there, Hillshire completed an initial public offering and was acquired by Tyson Foods.
Mr. Callahan also was chief customer officer for Sara Lee Corporation North America, president of Sara Lee Foodservice Division and general manager of Jimmy Dean. Prior to Sara Lee, he spent 13 years at Kraft Foods in roles of increasing responsibility in marketing, sales and general management.
Before beginning his corporate career, Mr. Callahan spent seven years in the U.S. Navy as a flight officer.
He received a bachelor’s of science degree in mechanical engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in business administration from the Florida Institute of Technology.