Condiments, seasonings and spices manufacturer Sauer Brands, parent company of Duke’s Mayonnaise, Kernel Seasons, and Gold Medal, named David Starr its CFO, the company said Thursday.
Starr joins Richmond, Virginia-based Sauer from Chicago Custom Foods, which Sauer Brands acquired in May. Before that, he spent seven years as CFO of dairy flavor manufacturer, Edlong.
"David will play a crucial role in helping us build a safer, stronger, more sustainable company that will forge a more prosperous future for our teammates and their families," Martin Kelly, Sauer Brands president and CEO, said in a statement.
Starr’s promotion to CFO of Sauer Brands following its acquisition of Chicago Custom Foods is not an unusual move. As CFO Dive reported earlier this year, when it comes to executive leadership, acquisitions within the food and beverages space can be fraught, and often work best when original staff are kept onboard.
"You need one culture, otherwise the company won't be successful, because you'll have two different points of view on how things should be done," Mark Cole, a finance executive who was working at Kraft when Philip Morris combined with General Foods, told CFO Dive.
Sauer's acquisition of Chicago Custom Foods brought several new products, including Kernel Season's and Tasty Shakes, into their portfolio.
"Kernel Season's is a great fit with the rest of the product portfolio and is in line with the ‘industry first’ packaged foods investment thesis that led to our initial investment in Sauer Brands," Chip Johnson, principal at Falfurrias Capital Partners, which invests in Sauer, told Food Business News in May. "We continue to seek out opportunities to invest in strong, authentic brands with significant growth potential based on shifting consumer preferences and other durable trends."
In a statement, Starr said he's "extremely excited" to join Sauer Brands. "We have great assets and a tremendous opportunity to build a prosperous future for our teammates and shareholders," he said. "With the addition of Chicago Custom Foods, we have a very exciting portfolio of condiments, spices and seasonings that can drive profitable growth."
Prior to Edlong and Chicago Custom Foods, Starr spent nearly a decade as CFO at a variety of Chicago-based healthcare companies, including MSO Medical, DayOne Health and Winston Pharmaceuticals. An accountant by training, Starr began his career at Arthur Andersen in 1991.
Representatives for Sauer Brands and for Starr did not respond to requests for comment.
Disclosure: Falfurrias, the majority owner of CFO Dive's publisher, Industry Dive, is also invested in Sauer Brands. Falfurrias has no influence over CFO Dive's coverage.