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Central Garden & Pet Company Announces Garden Segment Leadership Changes

  Central Garden & Pet Company Announces Garden Segment Leadership Changes  Business Wire  WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- January 14, 2014  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, effective immediately, J. D. Walker will lead its Garden branded products commercial organization and Dan Pennington will lead its wild bird and private label Garden businesses. In these roles, Mr. Walker and Mr. Pennington will report into Michael A. Reed, Executive Vice President, who will have oversight of the Garden segment.  “Our Company’s core value is putting our customers and consumers first. It is our goal to provide them the highest quality, most innovative, solution-driven products, with the highest service levels in the industry. These organizational changes will bring us closer to our customer and empower successful business leaders to achieve this goal,” said John R. Ranelli, Central’s President and Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Walker will have responsibility for Central’s branded Garden business, including sales, marketing, innovation, control products, grass seed products, and décor products, as well as retail sales and service. Mr. Walker joined Central in 2011 and brings to his role 33 years of experience in consumer packaged goods including 16 years in Garden products, representing Duracell, Gillette, Spectrum and Central brands.  Mr. Pennington will be responsible for Central’s wild bird business within the Garden segment and its private label lawn & garden businesses. Mr. Pennington has been with Pennington Seed for 32 years working in and building virtually every part of the business.  Mr. Reed served as President of the Garden segment for five years and also worked in various other leadership capacities. He joined the Company in 2000. Previously, Mr. Reed served as President and CEO of PM Ag Products, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of global agri-business Tate & Lyle, PLC.  “I am pleased with the appointments of J.D. and Dan to lead their respective commercial areas of the Garden business and the return of Mike to his leadership role for our Garden segment,” said Mr. Ranelli. “I believe this is a winning combination of leadership and experience. Mike, J.D. and Dan are experts in their fields, and together with their knowledge of Central, we fully expect a seamless transition. I look forward to working collaboratively with the Garden team to create value for our customers, employees and shareholders.”  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®, BRONCO® and SUPER MASK®. 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 3,300 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.  Contact:  Central Garden & Pet Company Steve Zenker, 925-948-3657 VP of Investor Relations & Communications