Schwan’s Co. Names COO

Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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Schwan’s Co. Names COO Julie Francis Brian Schiegg
Julie Francis

Schwan’s Co. has promoted Julie Francis to the newly created position of COO and hired Brian Schiegg as president of Schwan’s Consumer Brands Inc., succeeding Francis in that role.

“As a company, we are truly fortunate to have both of these outstanding leaders on our team,” said Schwan’s Co. CEO Dimitrios Smyrnios. “Their extensive knowledge and expertise in the food industry, strong customer focus and outstanding leadership will help us strengthen our operations, bring elevated service to our customers and achieve our growth objectives.” 

A food and beverage industry veteran of more than 25 years’ standing, Francis joined Schwan’s Co. in 2018 as president of Schwan’s Consumer Brands, a subsidiary focusing on the sales and distribution of branded foods to retail grocery and club stores. During her tenure in this position, she bolstered Schwan’s customer relationships and led the business to solid sales growth, significant market-share gains and higher profitability.

As COO, Francis will continue to report to Smyrnios and be part of the company’s executive leadership team. She will head the management teams for Schwan’s Co. subsidiaries Schwan’s Consumer Brands, Schwan’s Food Service Inc. and SFC Global Supply Chain Inc., along with other specific operational and shared-services functions.

“Since joining our company, Julie’s deep industry and operational experience has helped deliver outstanding results for our business and customers,” said Smyrnios. “She is a values-based leader who possesses a great energy for achieving operational excellence, serving our customers, driving profitable growth and leading people. Julie’s passion for leading people and teams has had a positive impact on the business and our company’s culture. I am excited to see Julie take on this expanded role within Schwan’s.”

Schwan’s Co. Names COO Julie Francis Brian Schiegg
Brian Schiegg

The former COO and president of Ocean Spray International Services, where he led all U.S. sales, global business units, marketing, planning, manufacturing, global ingredients and supply-chain operations, Schiegg brings more than two decades of global experience in the CPG industry to Schwan’s Co. Before Lakeville-Middleboro, Massachusetts-based Ocean Spray, he spent many years in leadership roles at McLean, Virginia-based Mars Inc. 

In his new position, Schiegg will drive growth initiatives for many of the company’s iconic brands, including Red Baron, Tony’s and Freschetta pizza; Mrs. Smith’s and Edwards desserts; and Bibigo, Pagoda, Minh and Kahiki Asian foods. He will also be a member of the executive leadership team and report to Francis.

“Throughout his career, Brian has successfully delivered profitable growth across multiple geographies and categories, and I look forward to working closely with him as we continue our efforts to bring delicious foods to families everywhere and deliver the best service possible to our customers,” said Francis.

Based in Bloomington, Minnesota, Schwan’s Co. is a manufacturer and marketer of foods offered through retail grocery and foodservice channels. The company is an affiliate of South Korea-based global lifestyle company CJ CheilJedang

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