Central Garden & Pet announces appointment of new president and CEO

Central Garden & Pet Company, a producer of products for the lawn and garden and pet supplies, has announced the appointment of John Ranelli as the new president and CEO of the company, effective 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."

Mr Ranelli has extensive experience in leading mid- to large-size consumer products companies. He has served as CEO of Mikasa Inc., a dinnerware, crystal and home accessories company, of FGX International (FosterGrant), an 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. 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.