Paine-backed foodservice ingredients company brings in new CEO

Ed Carolan, formerly of Campbell’s Soup Company, has been hired to lead Lyons Magnus, which received an investment of an unspecified size from Paine’s $893m Fund IV in November.

Lyons Magnus, a Paine Schwartz Partners-backed food and beverage product supplier headquartered in Fresno, California, has hired the former president of a Campbell Soup Company unit to serve as its chief executive.

The firm announced last week that Ed Carolan, most recently president of Campbell Soup’s packaged fresh foods focused unit Campbell Fresh, will succeed Robert Smittcamp as chief executive of Lyons Magnus, effective May 15.

A Paine Schwartz representative declined to comment further and Carolan could not be reached for comment.

Smittcamp’s late father Earl Smittcamp, was founder of Wawona Packing, a fresh fruit grower and packer located in the San Joaquin Valley of central California, in which Paine acquired an unspecified stake in May.

In November, Lyons Magnus received an investment of an unspecified size from Paine’s Food Chain Fund IV, which closed on $893 million in early 2015.

Lyons Magnus was founded in 1852 and supplies beverage syrups, smoothies, juices, toppings and other fruit-based products to restaurant chains, healthcare institutions and foodservice distributors. The company maintains a production facility in Walton, Kentucky and includes “clean label” products without preservatives among its offerings.

Paine Schwartz founding partner Kevin Schwartz praised Carolan’s track record of “delivering strong growth, developing industry-leading products and executing value-creating strategic initiatives.”

Smittcamp, who will continue to serve as chairman and remains a significant shareholder in Lyons Magnus, said that Carolan’s strength came in having both strategic expertise and experience as a hands-on operator.

“His team-orientated approach to leadership and fresh perspectives on new business channels will enable Lyons Magnus to capture even greater opportunities in the foodservice sector,” Smittcamp said.

Carolan joined Campbell’s in 2001 after five years with Procter and Gamble, for which he held both domestic and international roles. Before being named president of Campbell’s Fresh in late 2016, Carolan served in general management roles across the company, most recently as president of its US Retail unit. In leading Campbell Fresh, Carolan oversaw a division that included beverage, smoothie and dressing provider Bolthouse Farms and salsa maker Garden Fresh Gourmet, among other brands.

In a July interview with a Campbell’s internal publication, Carolan stressed the importance of drawing on both the capabilities that come with being a company as large as Campbell’s and the “authenticity” provided by smaller, mission-focused brands like Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet.

“I really do believe that food – not just in the physical sense, but emotionally – it nourishes on multiple levels; all of the ways that it makes life so much better and richer. I think it’s just super powerful,” said Carolan. “In ten years, I hope there is just a whole lot of brands that are constantly disrupting, not to just disrupt and compete, but to make life better for consumers.”