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Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) (NASDAQ:CENTA), a leading innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies markets, today announced that John R. Ranelli has been named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective at the Company’s annual shareholder meeting to be held on February 11, 2013. Ranelli has been a member of the Board of Directors of Central Garden & Pet and a member of the Board’s audit committee since 2010. He will remain on Central’s Board. Bill Brown, Central’s Chairman and CEO, will continue as Chairman. It is expected that during the next six months, Gus Halas will continue in his present role and help transition Mr. Ranelli into the CEO position. Mr. Halas will then focus exclusively on transformational change and business development initiatives.
Said Bill Brown, “Over the last two years, John has become a leader on our Board and a trusted partner. His close to 40 years of experience in building consumer products companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded consumer products company.”
Brown continued, “While we have considerable work yet to do, Central is a different company today than it was a year ago. We are transforming Central from what was essentially a collection of over 20 operating companies into an integrated organization. We are focused on building our brands and introducing innovative new products to the marketplace. We are eliminating redundant costs and pursuing a plan to achieve significant savings over the next few years. As we begin the next phase of our transformation, John Ranelli is the right person to build on this progress and to drive the company forward so that it can meet the expectations of our customers and shareholders.”