David Biegger Named Chief Supply Chain Officer of ConAgra Foods

30 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Aid package for ConAgra? ‘We are willing to work with them in whatever way necessary,’ Ricketts says.

The FINANCIAL — ConAgra Foods, Inc., announced on September 29 the appointment of David Biegger as Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer, effective Monday, Oct. 5. “We are pleased to welcome Dave to ConAgra,” said ConAgra CEO Sean Connolly. “He has a wealth of relevant experience and will be a terrific leader of our talented supply chain team.” Connolly added, “We are committed to building stronger brands, enhancing margins and delivering more consistent results.The latest new occupant of a suddenly red-hot central area will be Omaha-based ConAgra, a large food producer best known for consumer products including Chef Boyardee, Hebrew National hot dogs and Slim Jim meat sticks.“The state has the lowest unemployment rate in the country,” Brown points out. “We have the second lowest unemployment rate of any community with more than 100,000 people in the country.

Against this backdrop, Dave and his team will continue to enhance our supply chain capabilities to give us a competitive advantage.” “ConAgra has a strong portfolio of brands whose success will be driven in part by a lean, entrepreneurial culture,” said Biegger. “I’m pleased to join Sean and the senior leadership team and am even more excited to have the opportunity to contribute to ConAgra’s continued growth and success.” In his new role with ConAgra Foods, Biegger will have end-to-end supply chain responsibilities for the Consumer Foods business, overseeing the company’s manufacturing, procurement, environment, health and safety, plant quality, customer logistics and planning, and transportation and warehousing teams, according to ConAgra Foods. Though a lease for office space has not yet been signed, negotiations are in the final stages for space at the Merchandise Mart, real estate sources say. It is growing in all sectors.” Brown says Chamber research shows there will be more than 500 to 600 management job openings within the city in the next 12 months and the average salary is $100,000 a year. His results included achieving meaningful reductions in cost of goods sold, an all-time low injury rate, improved product quality and implementation of a recognized environmental sustainability program.

Bruce Rauner has signed off on tax incentives the firm is seeking to move corporate staff here from Omaha, with a formal announcement expected later this week. Crain’s Chicago Business, a magazine, reported the move “appears to be a done deal.” Neither cited sources, and their reports couldn’t be independently verified.

Rauner reportedly met with company officials months ago, before he imposed a limit on any new Edge tax-credit incentives until the state budget standoff is resolved. The company said last week that Omaha job cuts and an increased presence in the Chicago area are likely as the maker of Wesson oil, Healthy Choice frozen dinners, Wolf chili and Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn remakes itself under shareholder pressure.

My colleague Ryan Ori reported in July that the company has been negotiating for 200,000 square feet at the Mart, enough for 1,000 or more workers, but his sources stressed today that no lease has been signed. As for Nebraska, the governor said ConAgra’s Connolly is committed to “a major presence in Omaha” and is “aware of the company’s deep roots” in the city. The ConAgra move would be the latest in a series lately, but the biggest corporate relocation from out of state since Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago more than a decade ago.

Among others coming from the suburbs have been United Airlines, Kraft Heinz, Motorola Mobility, Gogo and Motorola Solutions, with talk that McDonald’s may shift at least part of its operations, too. He said he has been talking with the Governor’s Office to devise incentives legislation that “we could push forward to convince ConAgra to keep its headquarters in Omaha.” In 1986, the company threatened to leave Omaha for Tennessee, which offered substantial incentives to relocating companies. Pete Ricketts (brother of Chicago’s own Tom Ricketts) as saying his administration is “willing to work with (ConAgra) in whatever way necessary” to keep the headquarters in the Cornhusker State. The Nebraska Legislature passed a suite of bills that lowered corporate taxes for qualifying companies, exempted computers and corporate jets and cut personal taxes on the wealthy. Those laws have since been superseded by new ones that offer tax credits for investment and job creation, worker training grants and money for land acquisition and improvements.

The company had about $16 billion in revenue in its last fiscal year but struggled with $2 billion in asset writedowns in the past quarter after the disastrous $6.7-billion acquisition of a generic-label packaged foods company in 2013. DuPage County, already home to 400 ConAgra workers running the consumer-food division, would love to be home to more of the company, according to John Carpenter, head of the economic development authority in the area. CEO Connolly, who lives in Chicago and took over at ConAgra earlier this year, said in late June that nothing was off the table when it came to overhauling the company.

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