American Italian Pasta names new CEO

American Italian Pasta names new CEO

American Italian Pasta names new CEO


American Italian Pasta Co. has named Jack Kelly as president and CEO.

Kelly had been COO of the Kansas City-based company (OTC: AITP) since November. He succeeds Jim Fogarty, a managing director at Alvarez & Marsal LLC who has been American Italian Pasta's president and CEO since September 2005.

The company also said it has named Paul Geist as executive vice president and CFO. Geist was vice president and corporate controller.

"Jack has hit the ground running in the two months since he arrived," Chairman Bill Patterson said in a release Wednesday. "The planned leadership transition not only has been seamless, but even faster than originally anticipated."

Before joining American Italian Pasta, Kelly led several private companies, including San Antonio Farms and Fiorucci Foods and held senior positions at Haagen-Dazs and Kraft Foods. He has more than 30 years of experience as a food industry executive.

Geist, who joined American Italian Pasta in October 2004, most recently was vice president/controller for Potbelly Sandwich Works, a privately owned restaurant company. He also has held several senior management positions, including CFO of Houlihan's Restaurant Group Inc. and Westar Energy Inc.

Kelly also was appointed to the company's board, and Robert Niehaus will resign from the board Jan. 31. With these changes, the company's board will comprise Kelly and nine independent directors, three of whom were added in the past two years.

The company said Dec. 14 that it is late in filing its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 28 because it is waiting for its public accounting firm, Ernst & Young, to complete a review and audit of the company's restated financial statements for various periods.

American Italian Pasta also must file reports with the SEC for the following periods:

                The quarter that ended July 1, 2005

                The year that ended Sept. 30, 2005

                The quarter that ended Dec. 30, 2005

                The quarter that ended March 31, 2006

                The quarter that ended June 30, 2006

                The year that ended Sept. 29, 2006

                The quarter that ended Dec. 29, 2006

                The quarter that ended March 30, 2007

                The quarter that ended June 29, 2007

American Italian Pasta was founded in 1988 and is the largest producer of dry pasta in North America. The company has about 600 employees and plants in Excelsior Springs; Columbia, S.C.; Tolleson, Ariz.; and Verolanuova, Italy.

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