Howard Friedman has begun a new role as president and CEO of Lakeville, Minn.-based Post Consumer Brands.
The former Kraft Heinz executive succeeds Chris Neugent, who has assumed the role of EVP of strategy for Post Consumer Brands’ parent company, Post Holdings.
Friedman spent most of his career at Kraft Heinz, most recently as an EVP leading its meat and dairy business. His extensive experience with Kraft Heinz spanned general management and sales and marketing roles, including head of the Walmart sales team. He also was a key member of the organizational design teams during Kraft’s split with Mondelez and subsequent merger with Heinz, and he began his career in the Post Cereal Division of Kraft as an assistant brand manager.
Before joining the corporate sector, Friedman served in the U.S. Army as a logistics officer with assignments in Seoul, South Korea, and Fort Bragg, N.C. He completed his service as a captain. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from Dickinson College and his MBA in marketing and finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business.
“Howard has a demonstrated track record of driving profitability, building and renovating brands, and enhancing customer collaboration,” said Rob Vitale, president and CEO of Post Holdings. “Attracting a talent like Howard is a credit to the entire Post organization, and we are delighted to welcome him to our team.”
Neugent has been with Post Holdings since 2015 when Post formed its consumer brands unit by combining Post Foods with MOM Brands, maker of Malt-O-Meal cereals. Neugent had been the chairman and CEO of MOM Brands Co. since 2008.
Neugent led the successful integration of the Post cereal business and MOM Brands, exceeding synergy expectations over a three-year period. Also during his tenure, the business expanded margins and achieved a 20% market share in the ready-to-eat cereal category. In his new role, he will work with Post’s business units in developing strategic plans and competitive advantages based on his success with Post Consumer Brands.
“Chris and his team have done an extraordinary job in a challenging environment and I expect that Howard will build further upon our success,” Vitale said. “I am also delighted that Chris will join me in working with our businesses to build value by developing organic growth strategies and M&A opportunities.”