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Ennen named Columbus Foods president

Columbus Foods, a portfolio company of Arbor Investments, said Tuesday that Joe Ennen was named president, leading sales, marketing and human resources. Ennen will become Columbus’ CEO when current CEO Timothy Fallon retires at the end of 2015. Ennen is a former SVP in charge of Safeway’s exclusive brand portfolio. Columbus also said that Michael Fox has joined as SVP of marketing and innovation. Fox previously spent nearly a decade at PepsiCo.


HAYWARD, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Columbus Foods, whose premium salami and deli meats are enjoyed by millions of consumers nationwide, today announced two leadership appointments that strengthen the brand-building capabilities of the management team as the company approaches its 100th anniversary.

Joe Ennen, formerly senior vice president in charge of Safeway’s exclusive brand portfolio, assumes the position of president, leading sales, marketing, and human resources. He’ll assume the company’s leadership position when current CEO Timothy Fallon retires at the end of 2015.
Ennen brings more than twenty years of food industry and consumer packaged goods experience to Columbus. Previously, he was group vice president at PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division, where he led innovation as well as brand marketing. He also managed the Healthy Choice business as vice president / general manager for ConAgra, and spent close to a decade with the Kellogg Company in the U.S. and the U.K.
Michael Fox joins as senior vice president of marketing and innovation – a newly created position. Fox spent close to a decade at PepsiCo, where he led some of the company’s flagship snack brands: Stacy’s, Doritos and Cheetos; and built a strong track record of developing innovative brand experiences and new products. Fox was also a vice president at Safeway, where he was instrumental in the acceleration of its on-trend health-and-wellness brands: O Organics, Open Nature and Eating Right.
“With a rich, authentic history, an amazing line of products and a commitment to clean ingredients, Columbus is poised for growth,” said Columbus Foods CEO Timothy Fallon. “Ennen and Fox bring a proven track record of innovation and drive that we expect to significantly accelerate our pace of expansion.”
The expansion of Columbus’ executive team comes on the heels of the company’s effort to remove nitrates and nitrites, reduce sodium levels and utilize antibiotic-free meats in its line of salami and deli meat products. Ennen recognizes the better-for-you category as a significant area of potential growth.
“There’s so much potential to broaden our better-for-you offerings, which already account for twenty percent of our sales,” said Ennen. “Columbus has all of the ingredients for greatness: an iconic brand, a loyal consumer base, amazing retail customers and world-class production facilities. Through innovation we can accelerate its growth trajectory over the coming years.”
About Columbus Foods
Founded by Italian immigrants in 1917, Columbus Foods is a venerable San Francisco Bay Area institution bringing its passion for food and commitment to authentic Italian culinary traditions to life. Old World family recipes inspire the most extensive hand-crafted collection of Italian-style dry cured salami and a rich assortment of premium deli meats that are marketed under the Columbus brand. Its products are available at specialty food stores and supermarkets nationwide.
For more information, visit Columbus Foods is a portfolio company of Arbor Investments.
About Arbor Investments
Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Chicago, IL, Arbor Investments is a specialized private equity firm that focuses exclusively on acquiring premier companies in the food and beverage industry. The firm has acquired or invested in over 30 food and beverage companies in North America and currently has $700 million of assets under management across three funds.