USA: Former Warner Lambert Executive Named to Ocean Spray Board of Directors; Barbara Thomas is Cooperative's Third Outside Director
Thomas will serve as the third outside director appointed by the Board as part of a company restructuring approved by Ocean Spray's 930 grower-owners. She joins a 15-member board that includes 11 grower-owners, the CEO and two other outside directors.
Thomas' career spans more than 25 years in the consumer goods industry, including the past three years at Warner Lambert, where she headed the company's $1.7 billion over-the-counter pharmaceutical business. She held previous top leadership positions at Procter & Gamble, Nabisco, and Pillsbury. She currently also sits on the Board of The Dial Corporation.
"Barbara Thomas is a critical addition to the Board at a critical time in the history of Ocean Spray," said CEO Rob Hawthorne, who was hired in January to lead a turnaround of the company. "As we move to position our brand solidly in the arena of health and wellness, her experience and perspective will be vital."
At Warner Lambert, Thomas led the financial, new product development and marketing functions for such brands as Listerine, Benedryl, Sudafed and Lubriderm. From 1995 to 1997, she was President and CEO of Pillsbury Canada Ltd., responsible for $300 million in brand activity, including the Pillsbury, Green Giant, Toaster Strudel and Old El Paso lines. Before that, she was Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Nabisco Biscuit Company, delivering record sales and profits in the cookie and cracker categories. Her consumer goods experience also includes top management positions with The Procter & Gamble Company in their beverage, personal care, and cleaning product divisions.
Thomas joins two other outside directors appointed to the Board earlier this year: Jerome Jenko, a former top executive with General Mills and Pillsbury, and William Pietersen, a Columbia University professor and former Seagram's and Tropicana Executive.
Ocean Spray is the number-one brand of canned and bottled juice drinks in the U.S. Formed in 1930, the cooperative is made up of 804 cranberry growers from Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia and other parts of Canada, as well as 126 Florida grapefruit growers. For more information on Ocean Spray, visit us on the web: http://www.oceanspray.com.
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