Joseph Neubauer is stepping down as chairman of Aramark effective at the conclusion of the company's annual meeting of shareholders next February 3. He will be succeeded by current President/CEO Eric Foss. Neubauer, 73, had held Aramark's chairmanship for 30 years, through a series of ownership transitions that saw the firm go from publicly to privately held and back several times, most recently in 2013, when it again became a publicly held company.
Foss was named to his current position, as well as to the Aramark board of directors, in 2012 after more than 30 years with PepsiCo and Pepsi Bottling Group, where he ultimately served as CEO of PepsiCo’s Pepsi Beverages Company and chairman/CEO of the bottling group. Over the past three years he has overseen consecutive years of accelerated revenue and profit growth and led Aramark through its transition in 2013 to a publicly held firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange, along with a substantial increase in shareholder value since the IPO.
"On behalf of the entire board and everyone across Aramark, I want to recognize and thank Joe for his legacy in creating an industry leader and one of the most respected companies in the world," said Foss following the board vote to ratify the changes. "It is a privilege to lead Aramark as CEO and I am honored to take on the Chairman’s role and stewardship of the company with our board. I look forward to working closely with the board and our leadership team to continue building on the momentum we've generated to drive the enterprise to its next chapter of growth and value creation.”
Neubauer originally joined Aramark in 1979 as executive vice president of finance and development, CFO and a member of the board. He was elected president in 1981, CEO in 1983 and chairman in 1984. At his retirement as CEO in 2012, the company had grown from a $2.5 billion business largely concentrated in the U.S. to a $13 billion global services provider.
"I am extremely proud of what has been accomplished at Aramark in the last three decades, including the strong culture we built,” Neubauer says. ”I would like to thank our employees, clients, shareholders and communities for the dedication and support they have given me."
"As our strong results demonstrate, Eric has been an outstanding leader since joining Aramark," he continued. "I am confident that he will continue leading the company to even greater growth and success as chairman."
Aramark also announced that Board Director James Ksansnak will not stand for re-election and will leave Aramark's board in February. Ksansnak joined Aramark in 1986 and retired as vice chairman in 2000. He has served on the board since 1997.
"Joe and the entire board join me in acknowledging and thanking Jim for his dedicated service to Aramark and for his contributions to the board and we wish him all the best," said Foss.
In addition to electing Foss as chairman, Aramark's board of directors nominated a new member to stand for election at the 2015 annual meeting of shareholders, former Time Warner Cable EVP/CFO Irene Esteves, and announced the appointment of Sanjeev Mehra as lead director, effective after the annual meeting in February.