Ventura Foods names Furman president, CEO

BREA Calif. Former PepsiCo executive Christopher Furman has been named president and chief executive of Ventura Foods LLC, the edible oil-based food products company headquartered here.

Furman succeeds Rick Mazer, who is retiring.

Furman joins Ventura Foods from Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Inc., where he has held a number of posts over the past 20 years. Most recently, he was president of PepsiCo's Foodservice Division.

Ventura Foods is a joint venture between CHS Inc., an energy, grains and foods company based in St. Paul, Minn., and Mitsui & Co. Ltd., a global trading, investment and service firm in Tokyo. Ventura processes a range of branded and private label foods, and has production facilities in 11 locations around the United States.

Jay Debertin, executive vice president and chief operating officer of CHS Oilseed Processing, said Furman's "broad experience includes leading sales, marketing and operational teams to new heights, and successfully launching and integrating product lines in the food and beverage industry. His dedication to helping customers succeed is an ideal fit with Ventura Foods."

Debertin also praised Mazer "for his 12 years of leadership. While he served as president and CEO, Rick helped grow Ventura Foods to more than $2 billion in annual sales and over 2,400 employees. His many notable accomplishments include the acquisition of the Marie's and Dean's brand refrigerated salad dressings and dips; consolidation of West Coast operations; and construction of a new state-of-the-art plant in Ontario, Calif."

Contact Paul Frumkin at [email protected]