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Hain Celestial appoints new COO for U.S. operations

Hain Celestial's headquarters on Marcus Avenue in Lake

Hain Celestial's headquarters on Marcus Avenue in Lake Success, Sept. 24, 2015. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Lake Success-based organic and natural products maker Hain Celestial Group Inc. announced Wednesday it has hired a former Nestlé executive as chief operating officer of its U.S. operations, and disclosed other recent executive appointments.

Gary W. Tickle, who most recently served as president and chief executive of Nestlé Infant Nutrition North America, was appointed chief operating officer at Hain Celestial United States. Tickle will oversee sales and marketing functions for Hain Celestial’s platforms and brands in the United States.

Jerome “Jay” W. Erskin was appointed chief supply chain officer at Hain Celestial United States. Erskin most recently served as chief operating officer at SK Food Group Inc. He will oversee the supply chain and productivity.

Last month, Hain Celestial said the audit committee of the company’s board of directors concluded an independent review of its accounting with external counsel into whether revenue from certain U.S. distributors was recorded in the correct period. The committee found “no evidence of intentional wrongdoing,” the company said.

Hain Celestial, whose brands include Celestial Seasonings tea, Earth’s Best baby food, Terra chips and Spectrum oils, had been recognizing revenue when products were shipped to distributors, rather than when the products were sold through its distributors to customers.

As a result of its review, Hain Celestial is delaying the release of its financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal 2016, ended June 30.

The new appointments were not related to the accounting review, Mary Celeste Anthes, senior vice president of corporate relations, said Wednesday. “These appointments were related to the strategic business review, which began earlier in the year,” she said.

Other appointments announced Wednesday include:

  • James “Jamie” F. G. Fay was appointed chief customer officer at Hain Celestial United States. Most recently, Fay served as senior vice president of global sales for Nature’s Path Foods. Fay will oversee sales functions, including consumer and customer analytics and trade marketing.
  • James Meiers was named chief executive of Hain Pure Protein Corp., overseeing the Empire Kosher, Plainville Farms and FreeBird poultry brands.
  • James Skidmore was named chief executive of Hain Celestial United Kingdom, which is responsible for the Hain Daniels business with its grocery, fruit, and chilled and frozen business units.

“We are very pleased to announce the appointment of these seasoned consumer packaged foods industry executives,” Hain Celestial founder, president and chief executive Irwin D. Simon said in a statement.

Shares of Hain Celestial rose 17 cents to close at $39.37 Wednesday on the Nasdaq Stock Market. They are down 2.5 percent year to date.

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