THOMASVILLE, Ga., Feb. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) announced today that its board of directors has elected Allen L. Shiver president and chief executive officer effective May 22, 2013, the date of the company's annual shareholders' meeting. Shiver has 33 years of service with the company and currently serves as president. George E. Deese, current chairman of the board and chief executive officer, has been elected executive chairman of the board effective the same date. This announcement is consistent with the company's management succession plan. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20080530/CLF007LOGO ) "This is a time of exciting opportunities for Flowers Foods, and the board and I are confident in Allen's continued leadership as our team integrates recent acquisitions and focuses on growing sales and earnings," Deese said. "My role as executive chairman is to ensure that our strategic direction is sound and that Flowers' culture—what defines our team as unique in our industry—remains strong so we can continue to build value for our shareholders." Shiver noted that Flowers will remain focused on strengthening its number two position in the U.S. fresh baked foods market. "With pending acquisitions and market expansions currently underway, we expect to surpass our 2016 goal of reaching 75 percent of the U.S. population with our fresh baked foods three years ahead of schedule. Even so, we will have significant growth opportunities in our new markets and in our core territories for years to come and I am confident on our team's ability to achieve our long-term growth objectives." During his career with Flowers, Shiver, age 57, has been promoted to increasing levels of responsibility in sales, marketing, and operations. Since being named president in 2010, he has provided operational oversight, been involved in strategic growth initiatives, and given guidance to the company's national sales and marketing efforts. Shiver is an American Bakers Association (ABA) board member, and previously served as ABA's chairman of the board. He is a past co-chair of the Grain Foods Foundation Board of Trustees, and currently serves on the President's Advisory Council and Industry Affairs Council of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA).