LIVINGSTON, Calif. — A little more than a week after a CNBC report of a possible buyout of Foster Farms by Tyson Foods, the Turlock and Livingston owned Foster Farms has replaced their Chief Executive Officer, Laura Flanagan.
Flanagan resigned from the position. In her place, the company’s board of directors have appointed Dan Huber, 53.
Huber has been at the locally owned company since 1996, holding multiple leadership positions — including Chief Operations Officer — in his 23-year tenure.
Before Foster Farms, Huber worked in sales and management positions at Oscar Mayer and Kraft Foods. He’s also been part of industry boards like the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association, National Chicken Council, and National Turkey Federation.
Huber has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. He’s lived in the Central Valley for nearly 20 years with his family, and the company says he is “committed to the local community.”
“Dan is uniquely qualified to lead Foster Farms,” said Terry Martin, Chairman of the Board. “He brings over 23 years of agribusiness, supply chain, food production, food safety, and branded sales management experience to this position. His depth of expertise and familiarity with Foster Farms’ business and community are strengths that will drive the company into the future. We thank Laura for her many contributions to Foster Farms and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”
Laura Flanagan resigns to "pursue other opportunities
In a news release, the company said that former CEO Laura Flanagan resigned to "pursue other opportunities."
Flanagan became president and CEO of the company in 2016. She was a former president for ConAgra Foods Snacks Division and for ConAgra’s Convenient Meals Division.
Prior to ConAgra, she was a vice president and chief marketing officer for Tropicana Shelf Stable Juices at PepsiCo and held brand-management positions at General Mills and PepsiCo.
Her resignation comes one week after a CNBC report of a possible buyout with Tyson Foods. Through Foster Farms’ public relations firm, Fineman PR, the company said that rumors and inquiries like those have come and gone for years.
Soon after, Foster Farms announced a multi-million dollar expansion at their Livingston facility.
“The statements regarding Tyson, and the appointment of Dan Huber as CEO are accurate statements of fact,” said Ira Brill, director of communications for Foster Farms, in an email to ABC10. “Foster Farms has been a producer of chicken for more than 80 years in California, and will continue to serve the families of California for many years to come.”
The company’s previous leadership under Ron Foster, grandson of the original founders, saw the company grow 70 percent, become the Country’s first major poultry producer to be certified by the American Humane Association, and be selected as the 2016 Processor of the Year by The National Provisioner.
Foster Farms is a staple in Turlock, where it has its turkey division, and is one of Stanislaus County’s top 15 largest employers. They’ve been family owned and operated in the heart of the Central Valley since 1939.
Tyson Foods, one of the largest food companies in the country, was reported to be talking to the Central Valley's Foster Farms about a possible buyout.