John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (Nasdaq: JBSS) (the “Company”) today announced the following changes within its leadership team.
John Accardo, an established international executive with extensive experience in developing and executing new market strategies for growing consumer brands in China and other emerging markets, is the new Vice President of International.
Accardo has 25+ years of working with US-branded businesses in identifying new international markets, developing and directly executing market entry strategies, and capturing significant revenue and profitability growth, especially in emerging markets. In addition, John brings in-depth corporate finance and strategy experience in establishing joint ventures, strategic alliances, and consummating international acquisitions.
He comes to JBSS from Brown-Forman Corporation, the family-led spirits company best known for Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. At Brown-Forman, Accardo most recently led the company’s expansion efforts in China, and previously played a leadership role in the company’s international expansion in other emerging markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Prior to Brown-Forman, John was an international executive for Anheuser-Busch, where he played a key role in its Asian expansion efforts, including the development of strategic alliances and partnerships with leading regional brewers such as Tsingtao and Kirin and the overall establishment of Anheuser-Busch’s business in China. Today, China is Anheuser-Busch’s biggest market outside of the United States.
“It’s a great pleasure to join the JBSS leadership team,” stated Mr. Accardo. “The confluence of global consumer trends for health and wellness and growing affluence and affinity for quality US brands provides an exciting backdrop for international expansion. As a long-time lover of Fisher snacks, there is truly a world of opportunity for JBSS and its brands,” concluded Mr. Accardo.
“John brings critical new market expansion skills and experience to our organization at a pivotal time in our evolution,” stated Jeffrey T. Sanfilippo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “As we look to expand our Fisher snack business internationally, I am confident that John will identify the right resources for JBSS to succeed in deepening our market presence in key emerging markets,” Mr. Sanfilippo explained.
After leading our executive team through its annual strategic review and refinement of our corporate strategy, Robert Sarlls, Sr. Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, will be leaving the Company at the end of this month to pursue new professional opportunities in the food industry. He will serve as a consultant to JBSS for the balance of our fiscal year.
While at JBSS, Sarlls played an integral role in developing and implementing JBSS’ corporate strategies, was instrumental in the establishment of JBSS’ first office in China and led the acquisition of Orchard Valley Harvest, Inc. (“OVH”).
The Company recently completed a review of its corporate strategies based on our historical performance and our projected future opportunities based on current and anticipated market conditions. As a result of this process, JBSS’ executive team has reaffirmed that the growth of its Fisher and OVH brands domestically and the expansion of Fisher internationally will remain primary areas of focus. The Company will continue its efforts to meet the private brand needs of large food retail and commercial ingredient customers, both domestically and internationally.
“I want to personally thank Rob for his leadership and contributions to JBSS over the past four years,” commented Mr. Sanfilippo. “He guided our expansion into produce and established a foundation for growth in emerging international markets. We wish him much success in his new endeavors,” Mr. Sanfilippo concluded.
Some of the statements in this release are forward-looking. These forward-looking statements may be generally identified by the use of forward-looking words and phrases such as “will”, “intends”, “may”, “believes”, “anticipates”, “should” and “expects” and are based on the Company’s current expectations or beliefs concerning future events and involve risks and uncertainties. Consequently, the Company’s actual results could differ materially. The Company undertakes no obligation to update publicly or otherwise revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or other factors that affect the subject of these statements, except where expressly required to do so by law. Among the factors that could cause results to differ materially from current expectations are: (i) the risks associated with our vertically integrated model with respect to pecans, peanuts and walnuts; (ii) sales activity for the Company’s products, such as a decline in sales to one or more key customers, a decline in sales of private label products or changing consumer preferences; (iii) changes in the availability and costs of raw materials and the impact of fixed price commitments with customers; (iv) the ability to pass on price increases to customers if commodity costs rise and the potential for a negative impact on demand for, and sales of, our products from price increases; (v) the ability to measure and estimate bulk inventory, fluctuations in the value and quantity of the Company’s nut inventories due to fluctuations in the market prices of nuts and bulk inventory estimation adjustments, respectively, and decreases in the value of inventory held for other entities, where the Company is financially responsible for such losses; (vi) the Company’s ability to appropriately respond to, or lessen the negative impact of, competitive and pricing pressures; (vii) losses associated with product recalls, product contamination, food labeling or other food safety issues, or the potential for lost sales or product liability if customers lose confidence in the safety of the Company’s products or in nuts or nut products in general, or are harmed as a result of using the Company’s products; (viii) the ability of the Company to retain key personnel; (ix) the effect of the actions and decisions of the group that has the majority of the voting power with regard to the Company’s outstanding common equity (which may make a takeover or change in control more difficult), including the effect of any agreements pursuant to which such group has pledged a substantial amount of its securities of the Company; (x) the potential negative impact of government regulations, including the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act and laws and regulations pertaining to food safety, such as the Food Safety Modernization Act; (xi) the Company’s ability to do business in emerging markets while protecting its intellectual property in such markets; (xii) uncertainty in economic conditions, including the potential for economic downturn; (xiii) the Company’s ability to obtain additional capital, if needed; (xiv) the timing and occurrence (or nonoccurrence) of other transactions and events which may be subject to circumstances beyond the Company’s control; (xv) the adverse effect of litigation and/or legal settlements, including potential unfavorable outcomes exceeding any amounts accrued; (xvi) losses associated with our status as a licensed nut warehouse operator under the United States Warehouse Act; (xvii) the inability to implement our Strategic Plan or realize other efficiency measures; (xviii) technology disruptions or failures; (xix) the inability to protect the Company’s intellectual property or avoid intellectual property disputes; and (xx) the Company’s ability to successfully integrate and/or identify acquisitions and joint ventures.
John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. is a processor, packager, marketer and distributor of nut and dried fruit based products that are sold under a variety of private labels and under the Company’s Fisher®, Orchard Valley Harvest™ and Sunshine Country® brand names.
Michael J. Valentine
Chief Financial Officer