Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced that, as part of its Board succession process first publicly announced in January, Kevin M. Sheehan, President and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line, Kathy S. Lane, former Chief Information Officer of TJX Companies, Inc., and Larry S. McWilliams, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Compass Marketing, have been appointed to its Board of Directors on April 25, 2014.
The Company also said that E. Gordon Gee, 70, is stepping down from the Board effective immediately, following his acceptance in March of the permanent position of President of the West Virginia University. It further said that Larry C. Corbin, 72, and G. Robert Lucas, 70, will be retiring from the Board at the end of their terms in connection with the 2014 Annual Meeting and will not be standing for reelection.
"Today's announcements are part of the Board's ongoing efforts to ensure continued exceptional leadership and the highest standards of governance at Bob Evans," said Michael J. Gasser, the Company's Lead Independent Director. "As part of the Board's evaluation and succession planning process, the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee has worked with an executive search firm for over a year to identify independent, exceptional candidates with the appropriate skill sets. We believe that Kevin Sheehan, Kathy Lane and Larry McWilliams will bring new perspectives and special expertise in their respective fields to the Board's deliberations, as we continue to fulfill our fundamental commitment to serve the best interests of and maximize value for Bob Evans shareholders.”
With the changes announced today, the Board will consist of 12 directors, 11 of whom are independent, and 7 of whom have joined the Board since 2007, including 4 within the past 2 years. Following the retirement of Corbin and Lucas immediately prior to the 2014 Annual Meeting, the company expects that the size of the Board will revert to ten directors. Sheehan and McWilliams will join the Board's Audit Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Lane will serve on the Board's Finance Committee and Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee.
Sheehan brings extensive high level executive and financial experience across a range of industries, including currently as President and CEO of an industry leading global cruise operator. Lane joins the Board with over 30 years of IT experience, including Chief Information Officer roles in the consumer products, financial services and retail industries and most recently with TJX Companies, parent of leading retail brands including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods. McWilliams brings more than 20 years of significant consumer marketing experience and a proven record of leadership in the protein and consumer packaged goods segments of the food industry, including service as President and CEO of Keystone Foods and President of Campbell Soup USA and Campbell International.
"These new directors bring outstanding skills, experience and perspectives that will contribute significantly to our strategic planning and our ongoing transformational growth initiatives at Bob Evans Restaurants and BEF Foods," said Steven A. Davis, Bob Evans Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Kevin brings an extensive 30 year background in the business world, including overseeing successful major initiatives to enhance the consumer experience, and a deep knowledge and experience in accounting and finance. Kathy's IT experience will be invaluable as we implement our new ERP system and continue streamlining processes to enhance efficiency throughout our operations. Larry is a recognized leader in consumer marketing and a veteran brand builder, whose extensive background in the protein and consumer packaged goods segments of the food industry, will be invaluable to our food products segment. We are committed to ensuring that we maintain a dynamic, independent board that will provide the informed oversight and critical thinking to lead Bob Evans forward."
"The Board is extremely grateful for the many contributions of Larry Corbin, Gordon Gee and Robert Lucas during their service as directors. We wish Dr. Gee the best in his new role at West Virginia University, and appreciate the continued service of Messrs. Corbin and Lucas through the remainder of their terms," said Gasser.
Source: Bob Evans Farms