Clif Bar Appoints Lauded Food Industry Exec As New CEO

Gene Naumovsky

Sally Grimes will be Clif Bar's new CEO, and brings 20 years of leadership experience with her.

Clif Bar & Co. recently appointed a new CEO, Sally Grimes, who boasts a lengthy resume of more than 20 years of leadership positions with food brands, according to the San Francisco Times. Grimes begins work on June 1 and will fill in the shoes of Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford, a married power team that ran Clif Bar for 20 years. Grimes comes to Clif Bar from a high-ranking position at Tyson Foods. At Tyson, Grimes was the president of the $10 billion prepared food division, and responsible for 20,000 workers. Grimes graduated from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and posted executive work experience at companies such as Kraft Foods, Hillshire Brands, and Newell Rubbermaid.

As Gary Erickson and Kit Crawford step back from their roles they will still hold spots on Clif Bar’s board. Crawford said in an interview, “She is just an incredible, creative innovator. That's really what I appreciated about her, is that she can put on a lot of different hats — finance, innovation, marketing, sales and human resources. The skillset alone blew us out of the water.”

Erickson described his interactions with Grimes as “chemistry that leads to trust.” He added, “I don't think I've talked to many people that have that kind of intuition and creativity. If you go back to the original Clif Bar, I didn't do a marketing study. I didn't have a brand. It was an intuitive moment, because I was a consumer. It was innovation out of vocation.”

On Thursday Grimes said in a press statement, “I am honored to join this extraordinary company at a time when people are looking to brands to lead by example, something Clif Bar has been doing for nearly 30 years.”

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