February 11, 2022 – New York-based retail and consumer focused executive search firm Herbert Mines Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of Jason Vieth as the new chief executive officer of NYSE-traded Laird Superfood in Sisters, OR. The appointment was announced by Paul Hodge Jr. who will step down as founding CEO in a planned transition, which was posted last August when the search for his replacement began. Managing directors Christine Augustine and Dave Hardie led the assignment. “We are delighted to have Jason join the Laird Superfood team to lead the next chapter of our growth story,” said Geoffrey Barker, chair of the board of directors. “His breadth of experience and impressive track record of leading high-growth CPG brands, particularly in the wholesale channel, will be a powerful accelerant to our digitally native brand. Paul Hodge, our founding CEO, built a remarkable brand and platform, and Jason’s strong operational background, experience with plant-based beverages, and strategic mindset make him the ideal candidate to lead Laird Superfood and make it a nationally recognized brand.”
Mr. Vieth’s extensive experience in the food and beverage industry includes his most recent position as executive vice president of Sovos Brands, where he managed the breakfast and snacks group. Other prior experience includes nearly a decade spent at WhiteWave Foods, most recently as senior vice president and general manager of the yogurt business that included Horizon Organic, Wallaby Organic, Silk and So Delicious. In addition, he has led other food and beverage businesses such as Poppi and Life Time Fitness’ LifeCafe.
“Laird Superfood has developed a distinct and compelling food and beverage brand and its powerful omni-channel platform provides multiple pathways for delivering substantial long-term growth by reaching consumers everywhere that they shop,” said Mr. Vieth. “I joined Laird Superfood because of the incredible potential of this company, and I look forward to working closely with this talented team to achieve that potential.”
Laird Superfood creates plant-based superfood product. Its offerings are environmentally conscientious, responsibly tested, and made with real ingredients. Fourth quarter of 2021 net sales are expected to be about $9.4 million, an increase of 29 percent vs. the year-earlier period.
Serving Retail Companies
Established in 1978, Herbert Mines is a specialist search firm focusing on the retail, fashion and apparel, beauty, consumer products and services, hospitality, leisure, restaurant, and digital/technology industries. The firm is noted for its C-suite recruiting work.
Herbert Mines Associates recently assisted in the recruitment of Rachael Vegas as chief merchandising officer for BJ’s Wholesale Club. She will be responsible for the strategic leadership of the company’s merchandising and assortment planning and allocation functions, and will report to Paul Cichocki, executive vice president and chief commercial officer. Most recently, Ms. Vegas was senior vice president, ecommerce merchandising at H-E-B, where she was responsible for its ecommerce business as well as its in-store financial services and payments division and its retail media initiative.
“We remain committed to delivering unbeatable value with a best-in-class merchandising assortment that will exceed our members’ expectations,” said Mr. Cichocki. “We’re thrilled to have Rachael join our team. Her diverse background and deep experience in retail and grocery will be influential as we continue to build on our momentum and advance our strategic priorities.”
At Herbert Mines, Ms. Augustine is responsible for placing senior-level executives in a broad range of assignments in the retail and consumer products industries. She brings over 20 years of Wall Street experience, including 10 years of asset management as a portfolio manager at JP Morgan and as an equity analyst focused on investments in the consumer space at Hilltop Park, a global long short hedge fund. Earlier in her career, Ms. Augustine spent 12 years on the sell-side and was an Institutional Investor top ranked equity research analyst following a broad range of retailers during her career including big box discounters, department stores, dollar stores, specialty apparel retailers/branded apparel and footwear companies.
Mr. Hardie joined Herbert Mines Associates as a managing director in 2003. He leads the firm’s consumer products practice and works with selected retail and restaurant clients. His diverse executive search experience includes CEOs, board directors, general managers, and a range of functional heads. A significant majority of his search work is for small-to-midsized companies, especially ones owned by private equity sponsors.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media