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John Zillmer named new Aramark CEO

The industry veteran has three decades of experience, previously led Aramark’s international food and support services.

Aramark announced today that John J. Zillmer will return to Aramark as CEO, effective immediately, and will also become a member of the company’s board of directors. Zillmer previously spent 18 years at Aramark, ultimately as president of global food & support services. In that role, he helped the company grow.

Aramark CEO John Zillmer.jpgFollowing that, Zillmer, left, served as chairman and CEO of Allied Waste Industries during a time of turnaround and also led Univar, a global and chemical ingredients distributor, as CEO and executive chairman. There, he put an emphasis on corporate culture, something Aramark’s current non-executive chairman Stephen Sadove said will be a big part of Zillmer’s next chapter. Sadove said in a release that Zillmer is “an outstanding leader with a proven record of…fostering a strong corporate culture.”

Zillmer, an expert in strategies for business optimization and process improvement, is joining Aramark at a time when the Philadelphia-based company is a $16 billion global leader in food, facilities management and uniforms, serving educational institutions, sports arenas, healthcare providers and cultural attractions in 19 countries around the world with a team of over 270,000 employees.

“I am extremely excited about the opportunity to rejoin Aramark at such a dynamic time in the company’s history,” Zillmer said in a release. “I look forward to working closely with the Board and the Aramark team to drive growth and value for our employees, customers, partners and shareholders.”

Five new independent directors will join the board. Susan Cameron, former chairman and chief executive officer of Reynolds American Inc.; Karen King, former executive vice president and chief field officer of McDonald’s Corporation; and Art Winkleblack, former executive vice president and chief financial officer of H.J. Heinz Company will join immediately. Greg Creed, current chief executive officer of Yum! Brands, Inc. will be nominated and recommended for election to the company’s board at the company’s 2020 annual meeting. In addition, Paul Hilal, founder and CEO of Mantle Ridge LP, the Company’s largest shareholder, will become vice chairman. Sadove will remain as chairman of the board.

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