John R. Ranelli Named President and CEO of Central Garden & Pet Company

  John R. Ranelli Named President and CEO of Central Garden & Pet Company

Business Wire

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- January 7, 2013

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) (NASDAQ:CENTA), a leading
innovator, marketer and producer of quality branded products for the lawn and
garden and pet supplies markets, today announced that John R. Ranelli has been
named President and Chief Executive Officer, effective at the Company’s annual
shareholder meeting to be held on February 11, 2013. Ranelli has been a member
of the Board of Directors of Central Garden & Pet and a member of the Board’s
audit committee since 2010. He will remain on Central’s Board. Bill Brown,
Central’s Chairman and CEO, will continue as Chairman. It is expected that
during the next six months, Gus Halas will continue in his present role and
help transition Mr. Ranelli into the CEO position. Mr. Halas will then focus
exclusively on transformational change and business development initiatives.

Said Bill Brown, “Over the last two years, John has become a leader on our
Board and a trusted partner. His close to 40 years of experience in building
consumer products companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the
next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded
consumer products company.”

Brown continued, “While we have considerable work yet to do, Central is a
different company today than it was a year ago. We are transforming Central
from what was essentially a collection of over 20 operating companies into an
integrated organization. We are focused on building our brands and introducing
innovative new products to the marketplace. We are eliminating redundant costs
and pursuing a plan to achieve significant savings over the next few years. As
we begin the next phase of our transformation, John Ranelli is the right
person to build on this progress and to drive the company forward so that it
can meet the expectations of our customers and shareholders.”

Mr. Ranelli has extensive experience in leading mid- to large-size consumer
products companies, driving shareholder value through transformation
initiatives and revenue and profitability growth. He has served as CEO of
Mikasa Inc., a global dinnerware, crystal and home accessories company, of FGX
International (FosterGrant), a global optical company and, most recently, of
Woolrich Inc., an outdoor clothing company. He has served as an advisor to
companies and private equity firms since leaving Mikasa Inc. when it was sold
in 2008. Previously, he served in senior executive capacities with The
Timberland Company, Stride Rite Corporation, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, and
TLC Beatrice. He has served on the boards of GNC, Deckers Outdoor Corp, Party
City, and Woolrich. Mr. Ranelli will continue to serve on the Woolrich board
as non-executive Chairman.

Ranelli commented, “We have a great opportunity to build our brands by
continuing to invest in marketing and new product innovation. I am confident
that as we strengthen our customer relationships, develop stronger ties with
the consumer and continue to improve our execution, we will deliver the
sustainable, profitable growth that we expect of our company and create
meaningful value for our shareholders. I look forward to working with the
Central team to achieve these goals.”

Brown added, “I commend our team for their hard work and accomplishments. I
look forward to John leading Central into its next phase of growth.”

About Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company is a leading innovator, marketer and producer of
quality branded products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets.
Committed to new product innovation, our products are sold to specialty
independent and mass retailers. Participating categories in Lawn & Garden
include: Grass seed and the brands PENNINGTON®, SMART SEED® and THE REBELS®;
wild bird feed and the brand PENNINGTON®; weed and insect control and the
brands AMDRO®, SEVIN®, IRONITE® and OVER-N-OUT®; and decorative outdoor patio
products and the brands NORCAL POTTERY®, NEW ENGLAND POTTERY® and MATTHEWS
FOUR SEASONS™. We also provide a host of other regional and
application-specific garden brands and supplies. Participating categories in
Pet include: Animal health and the brands ADAMS™ and ZODIAC®; aquatics and
reptile and the brands OCEANIC SYSTEMS®, AQUEON® and ZILLA®; bird & small
animal and the brands KAYTEE®, SUPER PET® and CRITTER TRAIL®; dog & cat and
the brands TFH™, NYLABONE®, FOUR PAWS®, PINNACLE® and AVODERM®; and equine and
the brands FARNAM®, VITA FLEX® and HORSE HEALTH^TM PRODUCTS. We also provide a
host of other application-specific pet brands and supplies. Central Garden &
Pet Company is based in Walnut Creek, California, and has approximately 3,600
employees, primarily in North America. For additional information on Central
Garden & Pet Company, including access to the Company's SEC filings, please
visit the Company’s website at www.central.com.

“Safe Harbor” Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995: The statements contained in this release which are not historical facts,
including expectations for improved execution and sustainable profitability
from the Company’s transformation initiatives, are forward-looking statements
that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to
differ materially from those set forth in or implied by forward-looking
statements. These risks are described in the Central’s Annual Report on Form
10-K, filed on December 13, 2012, as well as the Company’s other Securities
and Exchange Commission filings. Central undertakes no obligation to publicly
update these forward-looking statements to reflect new information, subsequent
events or otherwise.

Contact:

Central Garden & Pet Company
Steve Zenker, 925-948-3657
Investor Relations
szenker@central.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.