Retail Leaders Making Moves

Mike Troy
Editorial Director
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Altria CEO Howard Willard

Altria Group chairman and CEO Howard Willard, who is recovering from COVID-19, stepped down from both roles after 28 years with Altria and its subsidiaries. Replacing Willard as CEO is 25-year Altria veteran and CFO Billy Gifford. Current board member Thomas Farrell was named chairman.

The major change comes as Altria has recently begun a 10 year journey to, “responsibly lead the transition of adult smokers to a non-combustible future.”

“We believe we’re well positioned to make significant progress against our vision,” Gifford said. “I’m excited to work with our strong leadership team, fantastic employees and key stakeholders to lead Altria forward in its pursuit of the 10-year vision.”

Specialty pet food manufacturer C.J. Foods named Paul Wagstaff to its board. The company described him as an industry leader in consumer packaged goods and merger and acquisition integration. C.J. Foods produces more than one billion pounds of pet food annually.

Premium snacking company Kar’s Nuts named Jennifer Bauer chief marketing officer. She joined Kar's from Campbell Soup Company, where she most recently served as vice president of marketing on Snyder’s and Lance brand products.

Former Lululemon Athletica CFO Patrick Guido was named CFO at Asbury Automotive group, one of the nations largest automotive retailers. He previously held finance roles at The Home Depot and Saks Inc.